Extreme Vulnerability of the Himalaya-Tibetan Region to Global Warming and Air Pollution

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Veerabhadran Ramanathan will speak on ‘Extreme Vulnerability of the Himalaya-Tibetan Region to Global Warming and Air Pollution’

The Hindu Kush-Himalayan region is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate as it faces rising temperatures; retreating glaciers; reduced snow cover; and changes in the timing, location, and amount of rain, snowfall, and cloud cover. These indications of climate change are starting to have a profound impact on the lives and livelihoods of people living within and downstream of the mountains.

Part of the change can be attributed to the global increase in atmospheric concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases. However, recent studies suggest that part of the observed change in the region’s climate has been driven by the presence in the atmosphere of aerosols containing black carbon (short lived climate forces).

Prof Dr Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Distinguished Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, is the recipient of numerous international scientific awards for his pioneering studies in climate and environment including the recognition for his work as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This panel was awarded the 2007 Nobel prize. 

In the 1970s, Prof Dr Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effect of CFCs and numerous other manmade trace gases. In 1980, he and R. Madden forecast that global warming would be detectable by the year 2000. Since then, he co-led an international team that first discovered Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs) containing black carbon from bio-fuel burning. ABCs have led to large scale dimming and decreased monsoon rainfall and rice harvest in India. They contribute to melting of Himalayan glaciers.

Prof Dr Ramanathan has estimated that reduction of black carbon can reduce global warming significantly and is following this up with a climate mitigation project to reduce soot emissions from bio-fuel cooking in rural India.

Our colleagues in the development community and the interested public are cordially invited to attend (RSVP).

ICIMOD’s occasional Knowledge Forum series is intended to foster scientific discussion on issues of mountain concern and to share global, regional, and member country knowledge and perspectives with stakeholders and interested persons.

For more information, please contact:

Nira Gurung
Communications Officer
email: ngurung@icimod.org