Chibzhang Co and Dorsoidong Co Lakes


  • The two Chibzhang Co and Dorsoidong Co lakes grew larger between October 1987 and October 2021.

About Chibzhang Co and Dorsoidong Co

  • The climate crisis is altering the geography of the Third Pole the Tibetan plateau which has been melting faster than any other part of the world.

    Chibzhang Co and Dorsoidong Co Lakes
    Source: DTE
  • The Hindu Kush Himalaya ice sheet holds the largest number of glaciers and snow after the Arctic and Antarctic.
  • The NASA Earth Observatory released images of two lakes west of the Tanggula Mountains a small range in the central part of the Tibetan Plateau. These images offered a view of changes caused by the retreating glaciers.
  • According to NASA, much of these glaciers are retreating due to rising temperatures, accelerating ice loss and meltwater runoff. Satellite images from the region, which accounts for the largest reserve of freshwater lakes, has reported growth in the size of its lakes.
  • The area of the lakes grew by 23 per cent between 1976 and 2017.
  • The study concluded that about half of the overall increase in the size of Chibzhang Co and Dorsoidong Co lakes was driven by glacial melting.

Key Facts

  • A United Nations-backed research had in June 2021 flagged that up to two billion people in southeast Asia can face food and water shortages even as the the Hindu Kush Himalayan mountain ranges lose up to two-thirds of its ice by 2100. 
  • Another study published in 2019 on the ice thickness of glaciers had estimated that glaciers in the HKH may contain 27 per cent less ice than previously suggested.
  • In the future, even if global warming is kept to 1.5 degrees C above the pre-industrialisation levels, warming in the HKH region is likely be at least 0.3 degrees C higher, and in the northwest Himalaya and Karakoram at least 0.7 degrees C higher.

Back to Basics

About Third Pole or Hindu-Kush-Himalayan

  • Hindu-Kush-Himalayan (HKH) Region is often referred to as the Third pole.
  • It spans over countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • It traverses about 5 million square kilometres and hosts a large and culturally diverse population.
  • It divides the valley of the Amu Darya (the ancient Oxus) to the north from the Indus River valley to the south.
  • It contains vast cryospheric zones and is also the world’s largest store of snow and ice outside the polar region.

Source: DTE

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