There is a consequence of global warming that is perhaps even more worrying than rising sea levels; the water shortage that will be caused by the melting glaciers. Today, their ice supplies water to most of the planet’s big rivers. The Yellow River, The Yangtze, The Ganges and the Indus that irrigate the areas inhabited by two billion people thus spring from the Himalayas’ glaciers and the Tibetan plateau!
To start with, the melting ice will cause an overabundance of water. In the 10 mountainous areas, this will cause sudden disastrous flooding. A little lower down, the monsoon will cause gentler but more severe overflowing. Flooding could peak towards 2050 and destroy crops and homes near rivers. Asia is not the only continent under threat: Europe has experienced disastrous floods – in France in 1999 and in Central Europe in 2002 and 2005. In South America, the Andes are following a similar pattern.