According to a report by China Dialogue, the region known as “Asia’s water tower” is facing alarming challenges like the El Nio phenomenon causing sustained high temperatures that create a “oven-like environment” for glaciers, making them now vulnerable and expected to melt and collapse. These conditions have caused glaciers to melt more quickly, lakes to expand, and desertification to get worse.
The Yangtze and Brahmatupra river sources’ glaciers have shrunk and retreated by hundreds of meters recently, with retreat occurring most quickly in the southern Himalayas and close to the Indus river source in the western Himalayas. As a result, tens of thousands of glacial lakes have gotten bigger, receiving water from both melting glaciers and permafrost, according to the report, which also stated that “scientists say climate change has ‘unbalanced’
It noted that with increased grazing on land above 5,500 meters and settlements in areas that were uninhabitable 20 years ago, some previously vegetated areas had “started to look like deserts,” adding that the plateau is anticipated to become warmer and wetter with more frequent “glacial lake outburst floods” and ice collapses, leading to more disasters in the decades to come.