Asia Society Resources on the Tibetan Plateau

January 6, 2009


The Asia Society has a new video documentary on the environmental challenges facing the Tibetan plateau, which may, as the excerpt below illustrates, have a profound impact on regional water supplies.

As the source of most of the major river systems in Asia from China to Pakistan, including the Yellow, the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Salween, the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and the Indus, the Tibetan Plateau has become an epicenter of crisis. With the retreating of its glaciers – what glaciologist Lonnie Thompson has called the “fresh water bank account” of Asia – rivers and lakes have started running lower, pastures have become drier, deserts larger, weather patterns more unpredictable. Indeed, the whole ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau and its hinterland are now slipping toward a catastrophic environmental disaster which will have continental implications far beyond the plateau itself.

Human security students should take the time to at least browse through this site, as our modules on water resources in Asia and climate change are directly related.


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