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Moving Mountains

For mountains and people

Snow

In the Hindu Kush Himalayas, 18 percent of the total land area – around 0.76 million square kilometres – is covered by snow.

Snow cover helps regulate the temperature of the earth’s surface, and variations in snow cover can affect regional weather patterns. The cooling associated with moist spring soils and a heavy snowpack in Eurasia is believed to shift the arrival of the summer monsoon season and influence its strength and duration.

Snow also sustains glaciers and is a crucial source of water in the region. Annual snowmelt contributes from 10 percent to more than 30 percent of the flow of the 10 major river basins that originate high in the Hindu Kush Himalaya and flow downstream to farmlands and cities. The combination of seasonal snowmelt and glacial melt plays a key role in river hydrology and in daily life downstream.

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

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Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment Report

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Around the HKH

Related Initiatives

servir

SERVIR-HKH

ICIMOD implements SERVIR-HKH in its regional member countries, prioritizing activities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

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Hi risk India

Hi-RISK

The HI-RISK initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), under its regional programme on River Basins and Cryosphere, aims to prevent or minimize the occurrence of water-induced disasters and their adverse impacts in the HKH.

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Did you know that hundreds of millions of people rely on snowfall in distant mountains for water to grow crops, cook food, wash dishes, manage the daily needs of their households and businesses, and generate the power that supplies their electricity?

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