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Melting threat worst for Indus

Wednesday 28 April 2004

NEW DELHI: Here is something India and Pakistan can chew on together: A hydrological model indicates that if scenarios play out as assumed, the effects of melting glaciers in the Indus region will be much worse than the Ganga or Brahmputra.

In about a hundred years or so.

All this comes hedged with many words of caution on how inexact the science is and how many assumptions are being made. With alarmist suggestions on the region’s glaciers disappearing ??soon’’ being described as ill-founded.

But when a group of experts from England, India and Nepal met here over two days, ending Wednesday, their basic conclusion was that in catchments where rainfall contributes its share of river flows, the effects will be less severe. Which is why the Indus would be in trouble, in the long term, and the eastern Himalayas, which get the monsoon, would be ??less vulnerable’’.

In the Upper Indus, deglaciation, as they call it, could cause a ??significant’’ reduction in river flows within the next few decades. This would have ??serious consequences’’ for water availability and use throughout the basin. Pakistan would be worst hit.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Wednesday, April 28, 2004.

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