Monday, October 11, 2021

Melting of Tajik Glaciers Now So Fast that Downstream Flows May Actually Increase for a Brief Period, Dushanbe Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 6 – The 8,000 glaciers which cover six to eight percent of the territory of Tajikistan and hold several hundred cubic kilometers of water are now melting so fast that they are likely to send more water downstream over the next few decades before reducing to almost nothing that flow, glaciologists and climatologists in Dushanbe say.

            In the short term, these experts suggest, Tajikistan and also the three downstream countries of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan may actually see their water supplies increase; but that won’t last; and the demise of the glaciers in Tajikistan will send flows plummeting (

            This pattern helps to explain why many in Central Asian capitals, including Dushanbe, are less alarmed about global warming and its impact on climate than many outsiders expect them to be. But even the Tajik experts are agreed that current rates of melting will have fateful consequences for the region as a whole.

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