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Pakistan: Glacier depletion to hit river flows after 50 years

Source:  Copyright 2007, Dawn
Date:  March 12, 2007
Byline:  Khaleeq Kiani
Original URL: Status ONLINE

The Planning Commission expects glacial reservoirs feeding Pakistan’s irrigation system will be empty after about 50 years, resulting in up to 40 per cent permanent reduction in river flows owing to fast depletion of Himalayan glaciers.

Estimates show that an increase in global warming will be fast melting glaciers in the next 50 years. River flows would increase in these years. But after 50 years, "there is likely to be a dramatic permanent decrease in river flows by 30-40 per cent in the Indus Basin," reads a working draft of Vision 2030.

It also says that nine out of 10 general circulation models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) project during summer monsoon will increase substantially. This increase in the overall monsoonal rainfall in Pakistan is "likely to be poorly distributed" in the sense that much of the additional rainfall is likely to be in "high-intensity storm ...

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