The cryosphere is water on the earth’s surface and subsurface in its frozen state, including glaciers, snow cover, and permafrost. It’s an integral part of the global climate system. The Himalayas make up the largest cryosphere region outside the poles and are highly sensitive to climate change, but the lack of long-term data for this region undermines efforts to develop policies and programs to promote the rational and sustainable use of these water resources.
ICIMOD is involved in assessments of the Himalayan cryosphere, working to devise ways and means to bridge the information gap. The Geospatial Solution Team works with the ICIMOD Cryosphere Programme to leverage Earth Observation GIS capacities to monitor the state of the cryosphere across the HKH region, including mapping of snow cover, and snow water equivalents, and monitoring temporal changes in glaciated area and water volume.