Climate change to impact 2 billion people

  • 27.08.2022
  • New India Express

An irreversible decline in freshwater storage projected in parts of Asia due to climate change could impact 2 billion people living downstream of the Tibetan Plateau as it could pose a serious threat to water supplies to India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan by mid-century, according to the satellite-based assessment of water changes in Tibetan Plateau.

Research led by scientists at Penn State, Tsinghua University, and the University of Texas at Austin project that climate change, under a scenario of weak climate policy, will cause irreversible declines in freshwater storage in the region, constituting a serious threat to the water supply for central Asia, Afghanistan, Northern India, Kashmir, and Pakistan.

“In a business as usual scenario, where we fail to meaningfully curtail fossil fuel burning in the decades ahead, we can expect a substantial that is, nearly 100% loss of water availability to downstream regions of the Tibetan Plateau. I was surprised at just how large the predicted decrease is even under a scenario of modest climate policy,” said Michael Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Penn State. The research is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.