Showing posts from May 13, 2007

Warming Triggers Alarming Retreat Of Himalayan Glaciers

Warming Triggers Alarming Retreat of Himalayan Glaciers


Glacial runoff in the Himalayas is the largest source of freshwater for northern India, and provides more than half the water to its most important river, the Ganges.

Glacial runoff also is the source of the headwaters for the Indus River in Pakistan, the Brahmaputra that flows through Bangladesh, the Mekong that descends through Southeast Asia, the Irrawaddy in Burma, and the Yellow and Yangtze rivers of China.

Scientists say 1.3 billion people reside in areas affected by glacial retreat, either in flood-prone areas or in locales that rely on year-round supplies of fresh water from glaciers rather than from the monsoon rainfall of only three or four months.

The retreating glaciers are occurring across an area that's the largest high-altitude land mass on the planet, bordered by the Himalayas to the south, the Tian Shan range to the north, and the Pamirs and the Karakorum mountains to the west.

Throughout the area, expe…

Southwest Water Woes

A bleached "bathtub ring," the result of a six-year drought that has dramatically dropped the level of the reservoir, shows on red Navajo sandstone formations near Last Chance Bay at Lake Powell near Page, Ariz. Lake Powell and the next biggest Colorado River reservoir, the nearly 100-year-old Lake Mead, are at the lowest levels ever recorded.
David Mcnew / Getty Images

Southwest Water Woes

You can listen to the radio program at a link at the original link noted above. Here is part of the transcript:

There’s been a drought in the Southwestern U.S. since 1998, but that hasn’t stopped the population in the region from rising by a million people per year. Brian Mann reports on the Colorado River’s struggle to meet growing water demands in the Southwest:

CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood. Every day, it seems, thousands of Americans pack up for the sunny skies of the Southwest, especially the booming cities of Las Vegas and Phoenix. The Southwest is a desert, of…