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High Asia: The International Dynamics of Climate Change and Water Security

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2017

Alāna M. Wilson
Alāna M. Wilson ( is Graduate Student in Geography at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado Boulder.
Sierra Gladfelter
Sierra Gladfelter ( is Graduate Student in Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Mark W. Williams
Mark W. Williams ( is Professor of Geography at INSTAAR, University of Colorado Boulder.
Sonika Shahi
Sonika Shahi ( is Graduate Student at the University of Graz, Austria.
Prashant Baral
Prashant Baral ( is Graduate Student at NIIT University, India.
Richard Armstrong
Richard Armstrong ( is Senior Research Scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Boulder, Colorado.
Adina Racoviteanu
Adina Racoviteanu ( is Research Associate at NSIDC, Boulder, Colorado.


Asia, a region grappling with the impacts of climate change, increasing natural disasters, and transboundary water issues, faces major challenges to water security. Water resources there are closely tied to the dramatic Hindu-Kush Himalayan (HKH) mountain range, where over 46,000 glaciers hold some of the largest repositories of fresh water on earth (Qiu 2010). Often described as the water tower of Asia, the HKH harbors the snow and ice that form the headwaters of the continent's major rivers (Bandyopadhyay 2013). Downstream, this network of river systems sustains more than 1.3 billion people who depend on these freshwater sources for their consumption and agricultural production, and increasingly as a source of hydropower (Immerzeel, Van Beek, and Bierkens 2010; National Research Council 2012; Rasul 2014).

Research Article
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2017 

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