According to their study, warming will eventually lessen the amount of meltwater that flows into each river from glaciers, and it will affect patterns of rain and snowfall -- both the amount of precipitation and its seasonal timing.
"The effects in the Indus and Brahmaputra basins are likely to be severe," they write, "owing to the large population and the high dependence on irrigated agriculture and meltwater."
The scientists estimate that between 28 million and 41 million people in the Brahmaputra river basin could face more trouble securing the food they need. But at the opposite end of the spectrum is the Yellow River, the only of five basins the study suggests could support a higher population thanks to future climate change.
It predicts that by 2050, increased rainfall would allow between 2.4 million and 3.6 million more people in the river basin will be able to secure food.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500