2009年12月09日

When the Ice melts

Deep in the Himalayas, the disappearance of glaciers is threatening the kingdom of Bhutan.

Anjail Neyar trekked through the mountains to see how the country is adapting to a warming world.



Kaka Tshering loops a piece of frayed jute rope around a 150-kilogram boulder.

A handful of his fellow workers line up on either end and pull the rope taught.

"Shochi, Shoni," the workers call in unison, as they heave.

Their voices are raspy from the 4,400-metre altitude and moist, cold air.

"Put your strength together."

After rocking a couple of times, the boukder rolls over and the labourers tumble backwords.

Their cries are drowned out by the furious work around them as more than 300 men and shovels to reach their daily quota.


The work force is a cross-section of life in Bhutan.

There are number of young dropouts from the capital Thimphu, with greasy, shoulder-length hair and tattoos running up thetr forearms.

Retired soldiers from the Royal Bhutan Aemy labour alongside former students of Buddhism.

There are a handful of women in their traditional tartan-style robes, beaded necklaces and antique silver and turquoise brooches.


Together in matching hard hats and leaky rubber boots, they make up Bhutan's army ageinst the sffects of climate change.

Their task is to deepen and widen the outlet channel from lakes fromed by the rapidly melting Thorthormi glacier (pictured above, to the right of the lake).

By helping the water to drain faster, Bhutanese officials hope to prevent a catastrophic flood.


(… to be continue…)


### DataBace ###
nature Vol.461 1019-1162 Issue no.7267 22 Octover 2009
Editorials p.1027 :"Climate of compromise"
Destination Copenhagen :「コペンハーゲン会議の行方
News p.1034 / Time running out for climate for climate talks
News Feature




Glaciers in the Himalayas are retreating faster than in any other part of the world and they could disappear completely by 2035.

This puts the mountainous nation of Bhutan at special risk.

In an area smaller than Swizerland, it has 983 glaciers and 2,794 glaciallakes, some of which have burst to produce deadlyglacial lake floods.


As a poor nation without even its own helicopter, Bhutan lacks the resources to combat grobal warming.

It is carrying out the work at Thorthormi glacier with the help of money from various international donors, including US$3.5 million from the Least Developed Countries Fund, created under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The global cost of adaptation could total hundreds of billions of dollars a year ― orders of magnitude more than what is available to poor countries at the moment.

During December's UN talks in Copenhagen, developing countries will be pushing formore generous ― and reliable ― funding to help them mitigate the impacts of climate chanhe.

As the first nation to get adaptation money from the Least Dveloped Countries Fund (see 'The long wait for adaptation money' page 1045), Bhutan is something of a pioneer among developing nations in their quest to adapt to a warmer future.

And the Struggles at Thorthormi glacier illustrate the enormous obstacles that adaptation sfforts still face.


(… to be continue…)

posted by 0≠素子(由理政宗) at 15:50| Road to Copenhagen | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
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