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Himalayan climate change threatens regional stability. Can India help?

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But there is good news. Reductions in "black carbon" emissions could limit near-term damage, and such reductions are both possible and vital.

India has taken recent steps to minimize this pollution by developing cleaner-burning cookstoves, putting it at the forefront of regional climate change. If India continues these initiatives, it could serve as a model for changing behavior, one stove at a time.

Melting Himalayan glaciers: the stats

Consider these statistics. Indian researchers say that the Himalayan glaciers are melting. In some places, the snowline has moved up 1,500 feet, seasonal snow cover has decreased, and winter snow melt has increased. A remote-sensing survey of over 1,300 Indian glaciers found an overall decrease in mass balance – the difference between growth and retreat – of 16 percent since 1962.

What emerges from these data is that the Himalayan glaciers provide us with an early warning of the climatic changes that are affecting the whole region. Recent studies show that the glaciers have retreated in some parts of the Himalayan region, which could be due to the tropospheric warming that has affected the monsoon patterns in the region.

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