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Chapter 2: Consequences of climate change for the cryosphere in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

  • Miriam Jackson
  • Mohd Farooq Azam
  • Prashant Baral
  • Rasmus Benestad
  • Fanny Brun
  • Sher Muhammad
  • Saurav Pradhananga
  • Finu Shrestha
  • Jakob F Steiner
  • Amrit Thapa
  • Summary

Chapter 2 of the Water, ice, society, and ecosystems in the HKH (HI-WISE) assessment report provides an overview of the changing climate in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region and the observed and projected impacts on the HKH cryosphere.

The HKH glaciers are projected to lose 30%–50% of their volume by 2100 even if global warming remains below 2°C. Snow cover is projected to fall by up to a quarter under high emissions scenarios – drastically reducing freshwater for major rivers. 

Chapter 2 finds that glacier mass loss has accelerated by 65% in the region, rising from –0.17 to –0.28m per year water equivalent loss in the decades starting 2000 and 2010. The Karokoram Anomaly has ended.  

The effects of the changing cryosphere on fragile mountain habitats are projected to be acute, with cascading impacts and disasters reported in most ecosystems and affecting most inhabitant species.

Main Record

  • DOI:
    10.53055/ICIMOD.1030
  • Pages:
    17-71
  • Language:
    English
  • Publisher Name:
    International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
  • Publisher Place:
    Kathmandu, Nepal