Glacial lakes worldwide increasing quick since 1990


New Delhi, September 1

The quantity of glacial lakes worldwide has elevated by about 50 per cent since 1990 as glaciers soften and retreat on account of local weather change, present 30 years of NASA satellite tv for pc information.

Lake Imja, a glacier lake close to Mount Everest within the Himalayas has grown to a few occasions its size since 1990, the analysis confirmed.

The findings, printed within the journal Nature Climate Change, can assist researchers assessing the potential hazards to communities downstream of those typically unstable lakes and assist enhance the accuracy of sea degree rise estimates.

“We have known that not all meltwater is making it into the oceans immediately,” mentioned lead creator Dan Shugar of the University of Calgary in Canada.

“But until now there were no data to estimate how much was being stored in lakes or groundwater.” The research estimates present glacial lake volumes whole about 156 cubic km of water.

The worldwide workforce of researchers initially deliberate to make use of satellite tv for pc imaging and different remote-sensing information to check two dozen glacial lakes in High Mountain Asia, the geographic area that features the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountain ranges, together with the Himalayas.

The workforce finally analysed greater than 250,000 scenes from the Landsat satellite tv for pc missions, a joint NASA/US Geological Survey programme.

The workforce appeared on the information in 5 time-steps starting with 1990 to look at all of the glaciated areas of the world besides Antarctica and analyse how glacial lakes modified over that interval.

Glacial lakes will not be steady just like the lakes during which most individuals are used to swimming or boating as a result of they’re typically dammed by ice or glacial sediment referred to as a moraine, which consists of free rock and particles that’s pushed to the entrance and sides of glaciers.

Rather, they are often fairly unstable and may burst their banks or dams, inflicting huge floods downstream.

These sorts of floods from glacial lakes, generally known as glacial lake outburst floods, have been accountable for 1000’s of deaths over the previous century, in addition to the destruction of villages, infrastructure, and livestock.

A glacial lake outburst flood affected the Hunza Valley in Pakistan in May 2020.

“This is an issue for many parts of the world where people live downstream from these hazardous lakes, mostly in the Andes and in places like Bhutan and Nepal, where these floods can be devastating,” Shugar mentioned. — IANS



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