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Asia's Growing Crisis: Floods, Droughts and Melting Himalayan Glaciers

Guest speakers will address the many threats that melting glaciers pose to Asian countries in Washington, DC.

October 19, 2010 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Guest speakers will address the many threats that melting glaciers pose to Asian countries. They will also discuss some of the challenges in collecting data and promoting cooperation to mitigate threats to the melting glaciers.

The Greater Himalayas, whose glaciers supply crucial seasonal water flows to some 40 percent of the world's population, is a climate change hot spot. The Tibetan Plateau has experienced a one-degree Celsius temperature rise in the past decade alone and more than 40,000 glaciers in these mountains are in rapid retreat.

Grave environmental and human health threats are posed to regional countries including China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. The prospect of catastrophic changes in normal seasonal flows from this Tibetan “water tower” is real.

China's foremost glacier scientist, Yao Tandong, predicts that many of Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2050. This rapid melting due to climate change is altering the lifestyle and livelihood of the local population by threatening to bring more floods and droughts to downstream countries.


David Breashears
Executive Director, GlacierWorks. Mountaineer, photographer, and filmmaker.

Syed Iqbal Hasnain
Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Stimson Center. Chairman of the Glacier and Climate Change Commission established by the State Government of Sikkim (India).

Orville Schell
Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society. Author of 14 books, nine of them about China.


Jennifer L. Turner
Director of the China Environment Forum, Woodrow Wilson Center.

This event is co-hosted by Asia Society and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum.

Free admission, RSVP required
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