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Contact: Christine Payton Jan. 19, 2012
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
A UL Lafayette professor has a warning for millions of people in South Asia: climate changes pose a dire threat.

“ Our coping mechanism/resources are very limited and are dwindling, the level of public awareness is very low, and the national, regional and local adaptation strategies and programs are insufficient and lack scientific rigors,” said Dr. Durga Poudel, a professor in UL Lafayette’s newly established School of Geosciences. An expert on climatic patterns of South Asia, he was quoted in an article recently posted on the Internet by Eurasia Review.

Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2011, issued by Maplecroft, a risks advisory firm, cites Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Nepal among the countries with the highest risk. It cites a variety of risk factors, such as climate-related natural disasters, sea-level rise, population patterns and agricultural dependence.

“ Shrinking and retreating of the Himalayan glaciers is (the) greatest environmental threat to the region,” the Eurasia Review article states. It notes that Himalayan glaciers feed Asia’s major rivers – the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, Yangtze and Mekong – and estimates that 1.3 billion people rely on those water sources.

The area’s vulnerability to climate change will increase over the next 30 years due to higher air temperatures, precipitation and humidity, according to the report.

Poudel recommends the creation of a regional consortium on climate research and a commitment from regional governments to address climate changes.

For more information, go to: http://www.eurasiareview.com/29122011-climate-change-endangers-millions-in-south-asia/

Document last revised Thursday, January 19, 2012 8:47 AM

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