The Hindu-Kush Himalaya (HKH) region contains glaciers, like the polar region, and is sometimes euphemistically called the “Third Pole.” Spanning from Afghanistan in the west and Myanmar and China in the east, the region of around 3,500 kilometres, containing reservoirs of frozen fresh water, is also known as “the water tower of Asia.” The region encompasses fourteen highest mountain peaks in the world and ten major river basins. It is estimated that the lives of around three billion people in the world are somehow linked to it. The region is of great interest to geologists, hydrologists, environmentalists, public policy practitioners, developmental agencies and others. While China, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan are some of the important countries, this Op-ed series generally focus on issues related to Pakistan. The Indus River receives 44.8 per cent of its water flow through glacier melt. Overall, the Himalayan glaciers are retreating faster than many others around the world. They are thinning by up to one metre per year and retreating at rates ranging from 10 to 60 meters per year, and many small glaciers have already disappeared. It is apparent that the rate of glacier retreat has accelerated in recent times in comparison to the 1970s. During the last 30 years, there has been a shrinkage of 5.5 per cent in the volume of glaciers in China. Recent studies have found that the glaciers in the Karakorum mountains are “thickening and expanding which is called “Karakorum Anomaly.” This is contrary to the conventional thinking and findings that most of the glaciers are fast receding in response to global warming and other environmental changes. Northern Pakistan experienced 900 disaster events between 2002 and 2022 including GLOFs. More than 80 per cent of Pakistan’s population is living in the Indus Basin, which has been serving as the core of the region’s socio-economic and cultural life for over 5,000 years. Indus Basin is facing multiple threats ranging from Climate Change due to poor resource management, environmental hazards and unsustainable use of this valuable resource. Unaddressed, the economic cost to Pakistan of poor water resource management is estimated to be USD 12 billion per annum (four per cent of GDP). The Op-ed series will look into the impact of climate change on the Third Pole and Indus system with reference to Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs). GLOFs are sudden events, which can release millions of cubic metres of water and debris, leading to the loss of lives, property and livelihoods amongst remote and impoverished mountain communities. Over 7.1 million people in GB and KP are vulnerable. In these areas, 26.7 per cent and 22 per cent of the population are below the poverty line. The Himalayan Mountain system (HKH: Hindu Kush, Karakorum and Himalayas) is the largest snow-covered and glaciated water area outside the two Polar Regions, and thereby called the “Third Pole.” Due to the increasing impact of climate change faced by glaciers, people living in the HKH region are highly vulnerable to the risk of floods, avalanches and GLOFs. The HKH stretches for 3,500 KM in an East-West band, across eight countries including Pakistan, and is the source of ten major river systems, including the Indus. The HKH has approximately 15,000 glaciers covering 33,000 Sq. Km along with some 9000 glacial lakes. It has warmed by 1.8 °C over the past half-century, significantly higher than the global mean causing glacial melt and lake formation. These glacial lakes are dammed by potentially unstable moraines that cause GLOFs when they break causing catastrophic damages. The HKH has the highest number of GLOF events of any mountain system, and has suffered the most losses but lacks a quantitative appraisal of the GLOF hazard-it is therefore important to determine potential GLOF sites. As per the Pakistan Meteorological Department (2015), there are 7000 glaciers in northern Pakistan. According to the UNDP, the glacial melt has led to the formation of 3044 lakes in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. 33 GLOF-prone lakes were assessed in 2015 and this number has been revised to 105 in GB alone in 2019. Northern Pakistan experienced 900 disaster events between 2002 and 2022 including GLOFs, and 23 reported GLOFs alone in 2021. Some seven million people are at risk from GLOF, and up to a quarter of the population of the vulnerable communities live below the poverty line (To Be Continued). The writer works at a public policy think tank and can be reached at email@example.com.