As a symbol of global warming this is hard to beat.
Mount Everest is shrinking, as mentioned here. And it bodes no good for the water supplies of vast areas of India and China.
Everest's snow may be quite endangered; Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute points out, in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that many of the receding Himalayan glaciers could melt entirely by 2035. The base camp has dropped from its normal 17,454 ft. to 17,322 ft. in 2007 alone because of ice melting.
This story in gristmill has a detailed explanation of the problems this will cause.
Even as India and China face these future disruptions in river flows, overpumping is depleting the underground water resources that both countries also use for irrigation. For example, water tables are falling everywhere under the North China Plain, the country’s principal grain-producing region. When an aquifer is depleted, the rate of pumping is necessarily reduced to the rate of recharge.
In India, water tables are falling and wells are going dry in almost every state.On top of this already grim shrinkage of underground water resources, losing the river water used for irrigation could lead to politically unmanageable food shortages. The Ganges River, for example, which is the largest source of surface water irrigation in India, is a leading source of water for the 407 million people living in the Gangetic Basin.
The Times of India is very concerned as well. "Shrinking Himalayan glaciers are going to turn Chinese and Indian rivers like the Ganga and the Yangtze into seasonal rivers that dry up in summers and could eventually lead to "politically unmanageable food shortages" in the region, a leading environmental scientist has warned".
"Both countries have lost momentum in the effort to raise grain production. In both countries stocks are down to minimal levels and both are wrestling with serious food price inflation," Brown said in remarks that come amid convulsions already in the world grain market.
Ironically, the two countries that are planning to build most of the new coal-fired power plants, China and India, are precisely the ones whose food security is threatened by the carbon emitted from burning coal.