Satellite view of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas, source of surface waters for more than 2 billion people in Southern and Eastern Asia (Photo: © NASA World Wind).
Climate change is affecting the hydrological system of Northern India, which is based on two main phenomena: the monsoon precipitation in summer and the growth and melt of the snow and ice cover in the Himalaya, also called the "Water Tower of Asia". Increasing greenhouse gases are expected to change these phenomena and, in particular, will have a profound impact on snow cover, glaciers and its related hydrology and water resources availability.
The principal aim of the EU FP7 HighNoon project is to assess the impact of Himalayan glaciers retreat and possible changes of the Indian summer monsoon on the spatial and temporal distribution of water resources in Northern India and to provide recommendations for appropriate and efficient response strategies that strengthen the cause for adaptation to hydrological extreme events.
The Climatic Change and Climate Impact Groupe of the Institute for Environmental Sciences investigates the formation of glacier lakes, glacier lake outburst floods and impacts of events to the local population through the analysis of satellite imaginary, field surveys, tree-ring analysis and modeling approaches. In addition, it leads the work package dedicated to outreach and dissemination activities within the project.