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Further away from the USofA, one the biggest issue (and looming conflict) is around the Himalayas: China, India and Pakistan - respectively the first, second and sixth most populous countries - all rely on water supply from the Himalayan glaciers and seasonal snow packs. These glaciers have been receding for years:

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP

Meanwhile in Asia the lives of some 2.4 billion people?40 per cent of the current global population?are influenced by the summer meltwaters of glaciers in the Himalayas-Hindu Kush, Kunlun Shan, Pamir and Tien Shanan mountain regions.

These glaciers could shrink by between just over 40 per and up to around 80 per cent by 2100 under current climate models with some mountain ranges completely devoid of glacial coverage.

Rivers at risk include the Syr Darya, Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Yangtze and Huang He or Yellow river where some 1.3 billion people could be at increased risk of water shortages and many more at risk of losing irrigation water for crops as well as disruptions to industry and power generation.

These are countries that have been at war at some point in the past 50 years and now have nuclear weapons. Not to mention the proximity of Iran (one of the non-sustainable countries) and Afghanistan, home of the Great Game. Clearly, some cause for concern.

by Bernard on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 11:30:36 AM EST

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