24 Mar '15, 12pm

As Himalayan Glaciers Melt, Two Towns Face the Fallout

As Himalayan Glaciers Melt, Two Towns Face the Fallout

For two towns in northern India, melting glaciers have had very different impacts — one town has benefited from flowing streams and bountiful harvests; but the other has seen its water supplies dry up and now is being forced to relocate. BY DANIEL GROSSMAN Recently, Buddhists at a nunnery in Zanskar Valley, a 30-mile-long alley of gray stone high in the Himalayas of northwest India, took the unprecedented step of planting an apricot tree. The valley is known as a “cold desert,” because just half an inch of rain falls a year. Temperatures in Zanskar’s highest villages drop to 40 degrees F below zero during long winters, and heavy snowfall shuts down the road linking the valley to the rest of India. Yet, to the surprise of nearly everyone in this valley of 14,000 people, the tree blossomed and then bore fruit, finally convincing local residents, who are mostly farmers, that ...

Full article: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/as_himalayan_glaciers_melt_t...

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