The Tibetan Plateau has long been regarded as a “hot spot” for international environmental research, and there have been fears that water supplies in the major Asian rivers will drastically diminish in the near future. New research now indicates that the supply of water will be stable or even increase during the next few decades.
A 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035. This assertion was called into question and caused a great deal of controversy.
“That erroneous claim and the subsequent discussion pointed to the need for a better understanding of the dynamics of climate, glaciers and future water supplies in the region,” says Deliang Chen, professor at the Department of Earth Sciences.