This article discusses how we will have lower water supplies due to melting glaciers after 2060.
Chinese scientists have warned that the melting glaciers in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, known as the world’s Third Pole, will cause a reduced water supply in coming decades, affecting billions of people downstream.
The plateau, with tens of thousands of glaciers, boasts the headwaters of Asia’s 10 largest rivers, including the Yangtze, Yellow, Indus, Yarlung Zangbo and Syr Darya rivers, which provide water for three billion people across Asia.
By 2060 to 2070, rising temperatures due to climate change will lead to ever-stronger glacier retreat on the plateau, and rivers fed by the seasonal melting will provide less freshwater, said Yao Tandong, an award-winning glaciologist and director of the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
A team of scientists led by Yao completed a research mission to the plateau in September. They found that from 1960 to 2012, temperature hikes in the polar region reached a staggering 0.3 to 0.4 degrees Celsius per decade, over twice that of the global average, and the glacier lost 15 percent of its mass.