Cryosphere and Water security

Tista Khangtse glacier, North Sikkim

Date: 25th September 2019
Session Chair : Dr. Anil V. Kulkarni

Water security is a population's capacity to safeguard access to adequate quantities of clean water to sustain human well-being and preserve ecological and political stability. Himalayan cryosphere has a large concentration of glaciers and large areas under seasonal snow which provide perennial sources of water for people living in the mountains and in the plains downstream.

Due to climate change, the Himalayan region is experiencing higher warming than the global mean, causing a rapid loss in glacier mass and early melt of seasonal snow. This is bound to adversely affect water availability in the future. Retreating glaciers will also jeopardize the safety and livelihoods of people living in the mountains through an increased likelihood of natural hazards such as flash floods and glacial lakes outburst events.

Given the importance of the Himalayan cryosphere to water security in the region, a special session titled “Cryosphere and Water Security" is being organized. The session will bring together leading experts to discuss the following three broad topics:

  1. Cryosphere processes, dynamics and climate change
  2. Cryosphere risk assessment, mitigation and communities
  3. Cryosphere: Research and policy-making