This image shows a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier in the Himalayas, which snapped off on February 7, 2021 killing at least 32 people. Photo/Associated Press
Greetings to you! As part of my blogs on the perils of climate change, this one gives another update in the news for you. On Sunday February 7, 2021, a glacier located in the Himalaya mountains burst resulting in a deadly flood. It destroyed a hydroelectric dam and killed “at least 32 people and left nearly 200 people missing and likely dead. The region is warming much faster than much of the planet, and the consequences are already showing.”
“The disaster was a direct result of extreme climate change in the world’s highest mountains. The rapid warming there offers a warning of the potential consequences for the United States and the rest of the world as greenhouse gases continue to heat the planet. President Biden has sought to reaffirm what scientists have been saying for decades: An effective climate response must be guided by strong research. As his administration works to restore scientific integrity in government and slow climate change, it should also support research in the Himalayas.”
Scientists have told us, “Just like the Arctic and Antarctic poles, the Himalayas are warming much faster than other parts of the world, at a rate estimated to be up to three times the global average. Warming has been rapid over the past century. Though temperatures have varied depending on location, they have averaged 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit higher since 2000 compared with the 25-year period preceding it. The Himalayas thus offer a natural experiment: They are showing the havoc that can occur if we continue business as usual with greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Himalaya mountains run along a stretch of about 1,500 miles from Pakistan to Bhutan. Disappearing glaciers in this area are a direct result of “how climate change can drastically disrupt a region’s water cycle. Even moderate projections predict that this region’s massive ice flows will decline by approximately 60 percent by the end of this century, with a large number of glaciers disappearing outright.”
In fact, scientists at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, issued a report if there is continued warming in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region it “will further exacerbate the snowfall and glacier decline leading to profound hydrological and agricultural impacts.” The sobering news here is that this “region is home to the largest area of permanent ice cover outside the North and South poles.”
If the loss of freshwater in this region isn’t bad enough, “the dry season has been more arid and drought-like, while the monsoon season has brought more intense, destructive rainstorms that have increasingly caused flooding and fatal landslides. All of these changes threaten the flow of the great rivers of Asia that are the primary water source for more than one billion people. They have brought particular upheaval to the approximately 240 million residents of the Hindu Kush Himalaya region. As ecosystems unravel, these people are struggling to adapt to changes that attack their livelihoods on all fronts.”
Clearly, global climate change is humanity’s greatest crisis. And to bring awareness of this serious issue to the children of our future, the fourth installment in the award-winning Kobee Manatee® Children’s Educational Picture Book series will be released later in 2021. Its title, Kobee Manatee® The Great Blue Hole Hazard, teaches children all about climate change and plastic pollution in our oceans. Dr. Tracy Fanara, Inspector Planet & NOAA Coastal Portfolio Modeling Manager, delivers easy understandable facts for children increasing their awareness along with actionable ways to mitigate the climate crisis.
Kobee Manatee® The Great Blue Hole Hazard, is the fourth installment in the award-winning Kobee Manatee® Children’s Educational Picture Book series.
Stay tuned for more of my blogs!
If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee