Furthermore, with its many low-lying and densely populated communities, Asian societies are especially exposed to the threat of sea-level rise, as more meltwater rushes from the Tibetan Plateau into the oceans.
All over the world, this is happening far faster than most people realise. In 2016, five islands in the Pacific Ocean went under due to sea levels rising 10 to 20 centimetres in the past century, a phenomenon mostly caused by thawing glaciers and ice sheets.
Needless to say, governments are scrambling to mitigate the effects of the big melt.
Countries such as China, Nepal, and Bangladesh have made efforts from planting forests on the Plateau to remove pollutants from the air and soil, to creating ‘floating schools’, where students take classes in boats as the water rises.
Even so, international issues of this magnitude cannot be solved nationally. China, a country that has proven the type of environment-saving feats it is capable of, will have to seriously consider more proactive involvement in transboundary water agreements to curb the water crisis.