Date: June - December 2021
Greetings from ICIMOD!
It always gives me immense joy to share updates about our activities with friends and partners in research and development. This issue of the bulletin summarizes our activities from July through December 2021.
The second half of 2021 was particularly busy for the team with fieldwork for cryosphere data collection, capacity building activities, and a major conference. We continued our bi-annual CryoDiscussion webinar series: What does the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report say about cryosphere change in the HKH? engaging with researchers and stakeholders on emerging cryosphere changes and trends in the HKH.
Our team successfully conducted an online training on data analysis using the R software. The use of open-source and free software such as R, Python, QGIS, GEE has become a preferred choice due to easy accessibility. We have been organizing such training events since 2019.
Our Cryosphere Forum 2021: Status of research on changing permafrost and associated impacts in the Hindu Kush Himalaya on permafrost brought together over 200 scientists and early career researchers from across the world, who presented permafrost science from the HKH region, Europe, and North America, covering a wide range of climatic and landscape types. We would like to congratulate Élise Devoie, whose presentation on ‘Compilation of Measured Soil Freezing Characteristic Curves for Permafrost Thaw Modelling’ was adjudged the best presentation. Élise is currently a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University in Canada.
We were also able to complete annual field data collection expeditions to our research sites in Nepal. One of our researchers, Prashant Baral, offers refreshing and new insights on the potential permafrost coverage during his fieldwork in Humla district. Continuing with our activities on the linkages between cryosphere and society, our gender specialist, Kosar Bano, was at the Shisper Glacier to get ground-level understanding of gender dynamics and cryosphere hazards. She shares her observations in the blog ‘Gender dynamics and disaster events in Hasanabad, Pakistan.’
For this issue, our Researcher in the Spotlight is Iram Bano, a Research Associate at the Karakorum International University. Iram is from Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan and is currently the only woman glaciologist from this province.
We hope you will enjoy our updates and continue following our work. We share our progress regularly on our website and on social media (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) using the handle #cryospherewednesday. Please check them regularly.
Thank you for your continued support! If you have any comments and suggestions, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For this issue of Researcher in the Spotlight, we introduce Iram Bano, a Research Associate at Karakorum International University, in Gilgit, Pakistan. Bano, who is from Gilgit, is the only woman glaciologist from the region. In this short interview, she discusses her work, research interest, and cryosphere research in Pakistan.
Hasanabad, a village located some 2,100 metres above sea level (masl), is four kilometres away from Shisper Glacier. Since 2018, when a sudden surge of the glacier terminus (the snout or lowest end of a glacier) was first recorded and an ice-dammed glacial lake was formed, its villagers have been living in constant fear of potential glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).
In May 2021, the glacier surge in Hasanabad triggered a GLOF that damaged houses, agricultural land, and orchards in the village. In this piece, we discuss how disaster events such as these compound the vulnerabilities of mountain communities and exacerbate already existing inequalities, disproportionately affecting women, children, and vulnerable groups – including the disabled, the elderly, and those with small land holdings.