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The Water Future of Earth's 'Third Pole'

26 June 2019

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Himalaya. Karakoram. Hindu Kush. The names of Asia's high mountain ranges conjure up adventure to those living far away, but for more than a billion people, these are the names of their most reliable water source.

Snow and glaciers in these mountains contain the largest volume of freshwater outside of Earth's polar ice sheets, leading hydrologists to nickname this region the Third Pole. One-seventh of the world's population depends on rivers flowing from these mountains for water to drink and to irrigate crops.

Source: NASA

Image credit: NASA/ Katy Mersmann - Follow the Freshwater: By predicting droughts and floods and tracking blooms of algae, NASA's view of freshwater around the globe helps people manage their water.