Jeffrey Kargel, a co-author of the study and a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, explained the impact of melting glaciers using 'bank account' analogy.
When more and more ice will melt, the water level of the rivers originating from the Himalaya-Karakoram mountains will increase initially, he explained. But, in the long run, during long summer seasons, the water will dry up. It is just like a bank account that will have an increased cash flow initially but run dry in the long run.
If air pollution goes on unabated, there will be no ice glaciers left, the groundwater will dry up, and there will be long periods of no rainfall, leaving the rivers devoid of any water source, he said.
This concluded that the warming of the Himalaya-Karakoram mountains will also affect farming and other livelihoods while increasing the risk of floods.
The rapid melting of glaciers and the consequent effects will disrupt the lives of nearly 13 percent of the global population or 1 billion people in South Asia, the study said.
The residents of megacities like Delhi, Lahore, Karachi, Kolkata and Dhaka will face the brunt of fast-melting glaciers due to greenhouse gas emissions.