Speed Reads

an ominous assessment

The Himalayan glaciers are melting, and there's nothing we can do about it

A new study forecasts the dire and irreversible consequences of climate change.

The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment, published Monday, took five years to produce. It concludes that one-third of the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2100, and even ambitious steps being taken to reduce rising greenhouse gas emissions won't prevent this from happening, TIME reports. If emissions continue to rise, and no steps to reverse them are taken at all, two-thirds of the glaciers could melt in the same time period.

The study also finds that by the end of the century, the temperature in this region, which is a crucial water source for much of the world, could rise by 8 degrees Fahrenheit, The New York Times reports. "Impacts on people in the region, already one of the world's most fragile and hazard-prone mountain regions, will range from worsened air pollution to an increase in extreme weather events," lead author Philippus Wester told the Times. He called the study's findings "shocking."

This comes after a previous report from the United Nations' scientific panel in October also raised alarm bells, describing significant risks posed by rising temperatures coming as soon as 2040, as The New York Times reported. In November, a Trump-administration produced National Climate Assessment found that only "decisions made today" can mitigate the consequences of climate change, which will include devastating economic fallout. President Trump rejected this conclusion, saying, "I don't believe it."