Central Asia’s Water Tower


According to an analysis published in October 2012, Tien Shan's glaciers have retreated in recent decades due to changing climate conditions, reducing significantly the availability of water for the people of the region. Tien Shan's glaciers play a crucial role in Central Asia's hydrological cycle. An estimated 15 percent of freshwater runoff in Kyrgyzstan comes from glaciers, and the contribution can be much higher during the melting season, In the summer especially, cities such as Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent, and Ürümqi rely heavily on freshwater from glaciers for irrigation and for household consumption, according to Annina Sorg, the Bern University researcher and lead author of the 2012 paper.


Photo (c) Yodod / Flickr

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