More than half a billion Chinese living along the rivers that flow from the Himalayas are at risk from water shortages as a result of disappearing glaciers. If they can take any comfort, it is that a new analysis of satellite data from 2003 to 2010 shows that the glaciers are shrinking up to 10 times less quickly than previously feared.
“The good news is that the glaciers are not losing mass as fast as we thought,” says W. Tad Pfeffer, a professor at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and a co-author of the study, published in Nature. “The bad news is that they are still losing a lot of water.”
Mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears provides some beautiful and disturbing shots of the melting glaciers of the Himalayas. This video was the Asia Society’s entry in a 2010 Asian Development Bank video competition on climate change.