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Climate change is endangering glaciers and snowpacks that are critical mountain water sources, for example, the Salmon Glacier in British Columbia.Getty Images

Glaciers are a critical component of the hydrological cycle, and the current accelerated melting and retreat of glaciers have severe impacts on the climate, the environment, the maintenance of human well-being and health, and sustainable development.

Over the past decades, climate change has led to widespread shrinking of the cryosphere with mass loss from ice sheets and glaciers and reductions in snow cover. This has brought a number of consequences, such as decreased stability in high mountain areas, changing amounts and seasonality of runoff and water resources in snow-dominated and glacier-fed river basins and localized declines in agricultural yields in some high mountain regions. Other outcomes are water scarcity, including reduced downstream water availability, and increased global mean sea level.

Given that half the world’s population and all of Canada are dependent upon water from cold regions, leaders at the University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Water Security – through its Global Water Futures (GWF) program – are looking to answer the question: “How can we best forecast, prepare for and manage water futures in the face of dramatically increasing risks?”

GWF, a global leader in water science for cold regions, brings together world-class water researchers who are collaboratively working to create awareness of and promote and facilitate actions and sustainable measures towards preserving glaciers.

Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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