NASA launches Himalayan monitoring system in Nepal

October 5, 2010
A new system that will allow scientists to monitor the impact of climate change in the Himalayas using images from NASA satellites has been launched in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.

A new system that will allow scientists to monitor the impact of climate change in the Himalayas using images from NASA satellites was launched in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on Tuesday.

Around 1.3 billion people depend on the water that flows down from the , which experts say are melting at an alarming rate, threatening to bring floods and later drought to the region.

But relatively little is known about the impact of on the vast region, which environmental campaigners describe as a "third pole" because of its huge water reserves in the form of ice and snow.

The web-based system, called SERVIR, will allow scientists, governments and aid agencies to access of the Himalayas, giving them early warning of floods and other disasters and aiding research on climate change.

A statement said SERVIR, launched in partnership with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, could be used to address threats to biodiversity as well as risks from flooding, forest fires and storms.

"The whole of the Himalayan region is something of a black hole for scientists and we hope to use this system to bridge the data gap," said Basanta Shrestha, a senior ICIMOD executive.

"We can use this to monitor the dynamics of the cryosphere (ice systems) in the light of climate change, which is very important in terms of both disaster management and future water availability."

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not rated yet Oct 05, 2010
Those glaciers are going to be gone by 2035, so why did they bother?

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