"Arguably , the greatest immediate threat (of climate change) is to be found in the mountain ice fields that are the birthplaces of all the world's great rivers.....On the Tibetan plateau, source of the Yellow River, the Mekong, the Brahmaputra, Salween, Sultlej, Indus and Ganges, glaciers are not just retreating at the margins, they are melting from the surface down. Conservative estimates predict that 60 percent will be gone by the end of this century. Half of humanity depends on these rivers. Five hundred million people on the Indian subcontinent alone turn to the Ganges for water; for eight hundred million Hindus it is the sacred Ganga Ma, holiest of rivers. During the dry season, fully 70 per cent of the river's flow originates in the Ganotri glacier, which is receding at a rate of 120 feet a year. If, as currently anticipated, the glacier completely disappears, the Ganges will become a seasonal river within our lifetime. One shudders to anticipate both the economic, political, and psychological consequences for India."
~Wade Davis, Shadows in the Sun.