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CRYOSPHERE INITIATIVE

The HKH CryoHub

The collaborative HKH CryoHub platform supports knowledge generation and exchange, learning, and networking, to create better connected practitioners and decision makers to enhance work and policies relevant to the cryosphere in the region.

Our focus

Networking

The CryoHub links regional institutions conducting cryosphere-related research and provides a platform through which a common approach to data sharing is being promoted to improve our understanding of water resources and their management in the HKH.

The regional CryoHub is a collaborative effort through which we share and disseminate data and information using a network of national partners from and beyond our RMCs. It serves as a clearing house for cryosphere-related data and information for relevant operational services and research activities. As a knowledge hub, it integrates geospatial data to support knowledge development and decision making, and builds on capacity building efforts in the HKH for future generations of scientists.

Our activities under the regional CryoHub include:

  • Building a web-based interactive portal for the dissemination and visualization of cryosphere data that includes science applications and story maps
  • Regular publication of quarterly e-bulletins on our cryosphere-related activities
  • Organizing and facilitating conferences, seminars, and workshops
  • Organizing events for regional knowledge sharing

In the spotlight

Hedayatullah Arian

For this issue of HKH CryoHub: In the Spotlight, we are in conversation with Associate Prof. Hedayatullah Arian, Head – Hydrometeorology Department, Kabul University, Afghanistan.

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HKH Data

Rikha Samba Glacier mass balance data

The effect of climate change on glacier melt and downstream water availability is of increasing concern in the HKH region. The region is sensitive to it and witnessing rapid melting of glaciers, increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, and a shift in monsoon patterns. The region may be hardest hit in the world in terms of threatening food security and livelihood sustenance of more than 1.9 billion people in the ten river basins. It is crucial for the countries in the region to improve their understanding of the changes taking place in the cryosphere and determine what will be their implications to the region's water supplies. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in collaboration with partners from Nepal and with the support of the government of Norway is implementing 'Monitoring and assessment of changes in Glaciers, Snow and Glacio-hydrology in the Hindu Kush - Himalayas with a special focus on strengthening the capacity of Nepalese organizations (the HKH Cryosphere Monitoring Project)' from 2011. The project comprises field based glacier mass balance measurements is one of the five major components with an objective of achieving the outcomes: Glacier and snow data produced and used for water resources assessments; enhanced institutional capacity of partners in Nepal and the HKH region for sustained glaciological monitoring, glacio-hydrological modelling, scenario development and remote sensing of the cryosphere.

Yala Glacier annual mass balance data

The effect of climate change on glacier melt and downstream water availability is of increasing concern in the HKH region. The region is sensitive to it and witnessing rapid melting of glaciers, increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, and a shift in monsoon patterns. The region may be hardest hit in the world in terms of threatening food security and livelihood sustenance of more than 1.9 billion people in the ten river basins. It is crucial for the countries in the region to improve their understanding of the changes taking place in the cryosphere and determine what will be their implications to the region's water supplies. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in collaboration with partners from Nepal and with the support of the government of Norway is implementing 'Monitoring and assessment of changes in Glaciers, Snow and Glacio-hydrology in the Hindu Kush - Himalayas with a special focus on strengthening the capacity of Nepalese organizations (the HKH Cryosphere Monitoring Project)' from 2011. The project comprises field based glacier mass balance measurements is one of the five major components with an objective of achieving the outcomes: Glacier and snow data produced and used for water resources assessments; enhanced institutional capacity of partners in Nepal and the HKH region for sustained glaciological monitoring, glacio-hydrological modelling, scenario development and remote sensing of the cryosphere.

Tipping Bucket: Morimoto BC

This sensor measures precipitation volumes with the tipping technique, where each signal is a fixed volume of water. It is located next to Langtang Glacier on the lateral moraine in the Langtang Valley.

Tipping Bucket: Numthang new station

This sensor measures precipitation volumes with the tipping technique, where each signal is a fixed volume of water. It is located in the main Langtang Valley floor, located at an old Yak pasture. Since 2019 it is not operational anymore.

Tipping Bucket: Numthang old station

This sensor measures precipitation volumes with the tipping technique, where each signal is a fixed volume of water. It is located in the main Langtang Valley floor, located at an old Yak pasture. It is not operational anymore.

Tipping Bucket: Shalbachum

This sensor measures precipitation volumes with the tipping technique, where each signal is a fixed volume of water. It is located on the right moraine of Shalbachum Glacier (looking up-valley) in the Langtang valley. It is part of a North-South transsect in Langtang Valley to better understand precipitation gradients locally.

Discussion forum

Community of practice

NEWS AND FEATURES

Around the HKH

Featured publication

Summary of the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment Report

This First HKH Assessment Report consists of 16 chapters, which comprehensively assess the current state of knowledge of the HKH region, increase the understanding of various drivers of change and their impacts, address critical data gaps, and develop a set of evidence-based and actionable policy solutions and recommendations. These are linked to nine mountain priorities for the mountains and people of the HKH consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Resources

Publications

Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (Glofs)
The melting Himalayas: Regional challenges and local impacts of climate change on mountain ecosystems and livelihoods

This policy summary looks at reported and possible future consequences of climate change in the greater Himalayan region.

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Glofs
Inventory of glaciers, glacial lakes, and Glacial Lake Outburst Floods: Monitoring and Early Warning Systems in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region – Bhutan

Himalayan glaciers are retreating; the resultant long-term loss of natural fresh water storage will have as yet uncalculated effects.

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Snow-cover mapping and monitoring in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

Snow is an important component of the cryosphere, and the study of snow trends is essential for understanding regional climate change and for managing water resources.

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The status of glacial lakes in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

This is the first comprehensive report on the distribution of glacial lakes for the HKH providing baseline data for further investigation of glacial lakes, GLOF hazards and risk assessments, and mitigation measures.

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Partners

The HKH CryoHub profile

comstat
COMSATS University
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imhe
Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment
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kabul university
Kabul University
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Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
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Resources and information for the media

Press releases

Landmark study: Two-degree temperature rise could melt half of glaciers in Hindu Kush Himalaya region, destabilizing Asia’s rivers

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