The Big Melt - Asia's Disappearing Glaciers Nearly all of Asia’s rivers originate from a small area surrounding the Tibetan Plateau. Some 40,000 glaciers form the headwaters of rivers branching out in every direction, becoming mighty lifelines such as the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, Amu Darya, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. Two billion people in over a dozen countries depend on the flow of the rivers for everything from drinking water and agriculture, to industry and transportation. Climate change is causing this critical icepack to melt away at a rapid pace. The potential impact on Asia’s populations is severe. Asia has the least fresh water per capita of any continent, and the region’s agricultural economies are highly vulnerable to changes in weather patterns and irrigation. Fragile communities see the foundations of their livelihoods vanish and growing cities have to go ever further to find enough water to service their inhabitants. This story looks at the shrinking glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau, and how they impact communities living downstream.