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Kyrgyzstan: Warmer World Raises Avalanche Risk

Mountains surrounding a pass in Kyrgyzstan’s eastern Issyk-Kul Province are buried under snow in February 2013. Officials fear that global warming, responsible for warmer winters, could lead to more unpredictable avalanches and increase risks for those living and working near Kyrgyzstan’s mountains, which cover around 90 percent of the country’s territory. (Photo: David Trilling)

Vyacheslav Miroshkin’s childhood in Kyrgyzstan three decades ago was characterized by long, cold winters. “You could pour a few buckets of water on the ground and you would have an ice rink for the whole season. In recent times we have not had many like that,” said Miroshkin, head of Heli-Ski on Tien Shan, a mountain sports company based in Bishkek.
 
This winter has been especially warm. Environmental experts in the Central Asian country are convinced that warmer winters increase risks for those living and working near Kyrgyzstan’s mountains, which cover around 90 percent of the country’s territory.
 

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Chris Rickleton is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.

Kyrgyzstan: Warmer World Raises Avalanche Risk

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