Thursday, 29 March 2012

Impact on River Hydrology in Tibet and Sustenance of Lower Riparian Countries

Snow peaks and glaciers enable Tibet to be the source of major rivers that flow into Asia and meet its water demand. Rivers such as Machu (Yellow), Drichu (Yangtze), Zachu (Mekong), Gyalmo Nyulchu (Salween), Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), Macha Khabab (Karnali), Langchen Khabab (Sutlej), Sengey Khabab (Indus), Bhumchu (Arun) and Lhodrak Sharchu (Manas) have their sources in the Tibetan Plateau.

Drainage Basin of major rivers originating from the Tibetan Plateau (Image copyright: Environment and Development Desk, CTA)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Glacial Meltdown and Glacial Lake Outburst Floods

The scale of glacial melting on the west Rongbuk Glacier between 1921 and 2008. (Courtesy: RGS & David Breashears/GlacialWorks)
The Tibetan Plateau holds the Hindu-Kush Himalayan Ice Sheet, considered the largest ice mass outside the two poles. Hence scientists and geologists are increasingly using the name ‘Third Pole’ to pronounce the global significance of Tibet’s environment.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Tibetan Plateau and Climate Change: An Overview

            Source: EDD

Today, climate change and its impact is a grave concern to the entire world and one that can no longer be ignored. Such a change is not an inexorable force of nature but in fact, has known human causes and available solutions to restore climatic stability.

After Arctic and Antarctic, the Tibetan Plateau is Earth’s largest store of ice and a hotspot of climate change. Due to its unique geographical location and high altitude, Tibetan Plateau faces rapid changes in its weather patterns and ecosystems in more extreme ways than other parts of the world. The Plateau has been warming three times as fast as the global average and its glaciers are shrinking more rapidly than anywhere else.

Despite its cold environment, for thousands of years the Tibetan people inhabited this plateau and created cultural landscapes based on the principles of simplicity and non-violence, in harmonywith the environment.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Tibet and Climate Change: What’s the underlying story?

Why Tibet matters? Several scientists have realized the importance and Tibet’s role in the planetary climate. However, the six million Tibetans are silenced and forbidden to form their own organizations, people think Tibet is small and unimportant on a global scale. Actually, it is an immense upland, with an area of ~2.5 million sq. km and averaging over 4500 meters in elevation. It is not just the largest and highest area in the world today (also referred to as ‘the roof of the world’); it may be the largest and highest in all geologic history. It is also close to 2% of the land surface of the planet.