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World Unprepared for Impact of Climate Change on Mountain Water Supplies
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World Unprepared for Impact of Climate Change on Mountain Water Supplies

Rising global temperatures are causing unprecedented changes in the environments of high mountain regions. The earth’s glaciers, snow, permafrost and associated ecosystems, collectively known as the cryosphere, provide drinkable water for half of the world, but as the earth gets warmer, the supply is becoming unpredictable. The ongoing changes in the distribution of precipitation and in the mountain cryosphere affect the sustainability of these ecosystems. These, in turn, increase the risk of natural hazards, with cascading and, often, devastating effects for populations and economies in mountain regions.

The World Meteorological Organization  (WMO) and partners kicked off the High Mountain Summit in Geneva yesterday and are seeking better cooperation between governments, researchers and space agencies.

“We are woefully underprepared. Our infrastructure was built in the 19th and 20th centuries in the mountains and downstream of the mountains and we don’t have that climate any more,” said John Pomeroy, a professor at Canada’s University of Saskatchewan, who is co-chairing the event.

In addition, the event, concluding on 31 October, is expected to adopt a Call for Action, identify practical steps for enhancing the cryosphere, and foster interactive dialogue between science, policy, governance, and local actors.

Concept note - High Mountain Summit. 

Author: DelAgua

Publish Date: 30.10.2019

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