Terrawatch: dust is speeding up melting of Himalayan snow

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Human activities are increasing wind-blown dust, depleting crucial freshwater supply

Himalayan snow and ice is diminishing fast. Global heating is certainly playing a significant role, but now a recent study in Nature Climate Change reveals that wind-blown dust is worsening the melting effect.

Winter snowfall and spring snowmelt provide more than half of the annual freshwater needs of around 700 million people in south Asia, but over the last 30 years the overall snow mass on the high mountains of Asia, which include the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram, has decreased.

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