ALTON C. BYERS
Climate change is crowding out all other crises, and is portrayed as a stand-alone problem, whereas it is just another hardship that Nepal’s rural poor have to overcome. They have dealt with weather extremes before. Climate change is not new, it just makes all their existing problems worse.
Still, recent reports by the UN’s IPCC, US National Climate Assessment , ICIMOD and the World Meteorological Organisation offer ominous proof that we have underestimated the scale and speed of climate warming in the Himalaya.
The most dramatic impact of this is in eastern Nepal, where lakes have appeared out of nowhere. Precariously held back by a fragile moraine and directly under huge masses of ice, Lake 464 and Lake Chamlang South (above) are ticking time bombs.