Prof. Syed Iqbal Hasnain, currently serving as the Chairman of the Glacier and Climate Change Commission (GCCC), Gangtok, established by the Sikkim Government will speak tomorrow (Tuesday, October 19) at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC on the topic ‘Asia’s Growing Crisis of Floods and Droughts’. Prof. Hasnain, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Stimson Center, Washington DC and a top Indian glaciologist has long advocated the impact of long-lived carbon dioxide and short-lived climate on the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers.
If you are interested, but unable to attend the event, you can tune into the live or archived webcast at www.wilsoncenter.org/ondemand. The live webcast will begin approximately 10 minutes after the posted meeting time (October 19 2010, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m).
Following is the invitation of the scheduled program:
Asia’s Growing Crisis of Floods and Droughts
October 19 2010, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
David Breashears, Executive Director, GlacierWorks
Syed Iqbal Hasnain, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Stimson Center
Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society
The Greater Himalayas, whose glaciers supply crucial seasonal water flows to some 40 percent of the world’s population, are a climate change hot spot. The Tibetan Plateau has experienced a 1 degree Celsius temperature rise in the past decade alone and the 40,000+ glaciers in these mountains are in rapid retreat, posing grave environmental and human health threats. The prospect of catastrophic changes in normal season flows (sometimes too much, and at others times too little) from this Tibetan “water tower” is real. China’s foremost glacier scientist, Yao Tandong, predicts that many of China’s glaciers will disappear by 2050. This rapid melting due to climate change is altering the lifestyle and livelihood of the local population by threatening to bring more flood and drought to downstream users.
The three speakers at this co-sponsored Asia Society-China Environment Forum event will address the many threats that melting glaciers pose to Asia. They will also discuss some of the challenges in collecting data and promoting cooperation to mitigate threats to the melting glaciers.
Mountaineer, photographer, and filmmaker, David Breashears, has climbed the Himalayan Mountains 5 times in the last 3 years. His photographs have shown the catastrophic loss of ice during the intervening years, and provide a visual warning of the impacts to downstream communities throughout Asia that rely on waters from these mountains.
Syed Iqbal Hasnaina is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Stimson Center. He currently serves as Chairman of the Glacier and Climate Change Commission established by the State Government of Sikkim (India). As a top Indian glaciologist, he has long advocated the impact of long-lived carbon dioxide and short-lived climate on the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers.
Orville Schell is director of the Center on U.S.- China Relations at the Asia Society. He is the author of fourteen books, nine of them about China. His most recent books are, Virtual Tibet, the China Readers; The reform Years, and Mandate of Heaven: the Legacy of Tiananmen Square and the Next Generation of China’s Leaders.
Location: Woodrow Wilson Center at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC, USA (“Federal Triangle” stop on Blue/Orange Line), 6th floor auditorium.