Himalayas facing ‘climate change crisis’, at greater risk of catastrophes

Prithvi garam ho rahi hai [the earth is warming],” said trek guide Karan Sharma, pointing at the 20,000-foot Indrasan peak in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Grimy rocks and boulders jutted out where in previous years a snow-capped peak used to be. “Ab mangal ka hi sahara hai,” he laughed sarcastically. “Now we must go to Mars.”

The 23-year-old hails from a village called Banara, perched 4,000 feet above sea level at a two-hour driving distance from Manali, the famous mountain city in Himachal Pradesh. As tourists throng to the region’s cooler climes and picturesque scenery, most of Sharma’s family and fellow villagers work as cooks, drivers or trek guides, their livelihoods supplemented by the region’s bountiful apple orchards.

Warming climes threaten both the apple and tourism industries.

“Last year we produced close to 150 boxes of apples. This year we produced only 50,” Sharma told IndiaSpend. In 2018, the region saw early and heavy snowfall in the first week of October, freezing rivers and stranding hundreds of people, posing a danger for the tourism and READ FULL ARTICLE HERE ↔ BS/ BUSINESS STANDARD

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