Now, fifty years later, the black and white photographs taken by these scientists are of immense value in trying to understand the impacts of climate change on the world’s highest mountain range, the Himalayas. Mountain geographer Alton Byers has revisited many of the sites of the original photographs and taken replicates, illustrating the changes in the landscape.
The old and new photographs have now been united in a unique photo exhibition: Himalaya – Changing Landscapes, currently on show at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. The exhibition is part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations for ICIMOD and has been organised in partnership with the BBVA Foundation.
“Only five decades have passed between the old and the new photographs and the changes are dramatic. Many small glaciers at low altitudes have disappeared entirely and many larger ones have lost around half of their volume. Some have formed huge glacial lakes at the foot of the glacier, threatening downstream communities in case of an outburst”, says Byers.
The Himalaya – Changing Landscapes photo exhibition aims to raise awareness of the impact of climate change and of the new challenges facing the mountain people. The stunning repeat panorama views of mountains and glaciers are accompanied by images of the Himalayan people and their stories, as well as photographs of the scientists conducting glacier research in the 1950s. The four-metre long photo panels making up the exhibition are located outside the Barcelona International Convention Centre, and entrance is free for conference participants and the general public alike.
Climate change is affecting people around the globe, and this is especially evident at the top of the world around Mount Everest and the high peaks of the Himalayan mountain range. The greater Himalayan region has the largest concentration of snow and ice outside the two poles. Warming temperatures cause rapid melting of the glaciers, severely affecting the people downstream. Ten river systems originating in the Himalayas bring water to a mountain population of around 200 million, while the vast water basins downstream are home to a further 1.3 billion people. In total 1.5 billion people – a fifth of the world’s population - depend on the Himalayan rivers for their water supply.
The Hindu Kush-Himalayan region is the highest, most complex mountain region in the world. It extends more than 3500km over eight countries, from Afghanistan in the north-west to Myanmar in the south-east. The area ranges from the high plateau of Tibet and other mountain areas of China to the Ganges Basin in India, and has the upland watersheds of the ten major Asian river systems.
Warming in the Himalayan region has been much greater than the global average. Weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable and extreme – dry seasons become dryer and wet seasons wetter. This phenomenon is causing concern over the long-term reduction in total water supply, affecting the lives and livelihoods of the Himalayan people, especially in agriculture practices and long-term food security.
In the words of Dr. Andreas Schild, Director General of ICIMOD; “What we see here at the Himalaya photo exhibition is just the tip of the iceberg. The changes taking place are alarming, and the time to act is now. Scientific evidence shows that the effects of globalisation and climate change are being felt in even the most remote Himalayan environments. While climate change is mostly caused by the highly industrialised parts of the world, the effects are taking their toll in the sensitive mountain areas. The signs are visible, but the in-depth knowledge and data from the Himalayan region is largely missing. Global measures of scientific co-operation and regional collaboration are needed to reduce this information gap. What happens in this remote mountain region is a serious concern for the whole world”.
The Himalaya – Changing Landscapes photo exhibition was first unveiled in a customised format at the Mt. Everest Base Camp (5300m) in April 2008, making it the highest photo exhibition in the world. After Barcelona the exhibition will travel to Kathmandu for ICIMOD’s 25th Anniversary celebrations. For future exhibition dates and locations please see www.changing-landscapes.comHIMALAYA – CHANGING LANDSCAPES
Javier Fernández | alfa
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?
15.06.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences