Brill Science Question of the Month - October

The Tibetan Plateau is one of the highest and youngest regions on earth, encircled by mountain ranges, with the Himalayas making up its southern border. The high altitude and humid air from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal allow for the formation of many glaciers. The melt water from these glaciers is the source for many of Asia’s most important rivers.

  1. A December 2009 science brief from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies named global warming as one of two major factors for the alarming rate of glacier retreat on the Tibetan Plateau. What was the other factor and how does it contribute to glacial melt?

  2. What is the name for the field of science that studies the movement, distribution, and quality of water throughout the Earth? Hint: Think Greek.

  3. In southwestern Tibet, there is a mountain (pictured below) that sits near the source of four major rivers in central Asia- the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Karnali and the Sutleg. This mountain is considered sacred by four religions and is therefore one of the holiest places on Earth. Pilgrims make the journey to the mountain in order to walk the 32 miles around its base, as scaling the peak is forbidden out of respect to the religions that worship the site.

  What is the name of this mountain, and what are the four religions that consider it to be holy?
Hint: Use “AND” in your search if you are having trouble.

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