UNEP GEAS Releases Bulletin on Himalayan Glacial Melt

28 September 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS) has published its September 2012 bulletin, which underlines the need to improve cross-boundary scientific collaboration and monitoring of Himalayan glaciers in order to ensure that policy options are science-based.

The bulletin highlights a lack of reliable and consistent data on Himalayan glaciers, noting this results in uncertainty over the contribution of glacial melt to the Himalayan river basins. The bulletin notes that this is important because, together with monsoon water, seasonal melt from the Himalayan glaciers provide freshwater for up to 1.3 billion people residing in the region.

The bulletin calls for better monitoring of glaciers and a state-of-the-science assessment of glacier change, in order to better understand the complexities of those changes and reduce scientific uncertainty. It also underscores the need for transboundary scientific cooperation to accurately assess regional climate change impacts on Himalayan glaciers and to bridge knowledge gaps by providing scientific findings to the policy community. [UNEP GEAS September 2012 Bulletin]