In his presentation, Prof. YAO first gave a brief introduction of Third Pole region. He mentioned that major environmental changes are taking place on the Third Pole characterized by complex interactions of atmospheric, cryospheric, hydrological, geological and environmental processes. These processes are critical for the well-being of the three billion people inhabiting the plateau and the surrounding regions.
After reviewing the Third Pole region, Prof. YAO introduced in his talk the importance of the glaciers in the Third Pole region. He reported the significant results of the Third Pole glacier variations under global climate change and demonstrated some potential threats caused by glacial variation, e.g., intensified water cycles and more frequent hazards, including lake expansion and glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF).
Finally, Prof. YAO briefed on the Third Pole Environment (TPE) program. He emphasized that TPE has focused on the causes of the glacier melt by conducting large-scale ground in-situ observation and monitoring, analyzing satellite images and remote sensing data, and applying numerical modeling to environmental research on the Third Pole.
The AGU Union session has witnessed 6 keynote presentations given by renowned scientists globally. The talk by Prof. YAO aroused wide attentions and expected to contribute to promote TPE program to a new height.