"Glacial Lakes Threaten Millions With Flooding As Planet Heats Up"

"More than 12,000 deaths have already been attributed to glacial lake outburst floods worldwide"

"KATHMANDU -- An increasing number of people are being threatened by flooding caused by glacial lakes bursting, scientists have warned.

As the planet warms and glaciers recede, meltwater accumulates and forms lakes, often as a result of ice or moraine acting as a dam. Since 1990, the volume, area and number of these glacial lakes has increased by 50% globally. When these lakes become too full there is a risk that they may breach or overflow, releasing huge volumes of water and causing catastrophic flooding.

Some lakes are more dangerous than others, and more likely to result in what are known as glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Stephan Harrison, a professor of climate and environmental change at Exeter University, said: “The ones we’re concerned about are the very steep mountain valleys in the Andes and in the Himalayas, where you have glaciers retreating up into their steep valleys with lots of opportunity for bits of mountainside to fall off into lakes.”"

Neelima Vallangi reports for the Guardian May 2, 2021.

Source: Guardian, 05/03/2021