India, China, Pakistan to work together to study impact of climate change on Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region

India Meteorological Department (IMD) is collaborating with meteorological agencies in China and Pakistan, among others, to provide climate forecast services to countries in Hindu-Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region. These countries have agreed to establish regional climate centre that will provide forecasting services and climate analyses. This centre will be under World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). It will help to better forecast impact of climate change on Hindu Kush mountains. It will take a few years to take shape. It will also provide data services, training and capacity-building, research and development.

About Hindu-Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region

It is considered the Third Pole [after North and South Poles]. It contains vast cryospheric zones and is also the world’s largest store of snow and ice outside the polar region. It spans Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It traverses about 5 million square kilometres and has significant implications for climate. Recent report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also had highlighted threat to HKH region from global warming. It had mentioned that floods will become more frequent and severe in mountainous and downstream areas of Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra river basins, because of increase in extreme precipitation events. It also had warned about severity of floods to be more than double towards the end of the century in this region.