Global warming puts Himalayan lakes at risk of flooding

Thousands of natural lakes in the Himalayas are at risk of breaking through hail and flooding downstream because of global warming, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, according tomedia. The researchers point out that there have been some dramatic changes in the Himalayan region, such as the formation of 85 natural lakes in the Sikkim Himalayan region between 2003 and 2010.

Global warming puts Himalayan lakes at risk of flooding

These lakes are naturally formed because water flows down the mountain, gathers in the cracks, and eventually forms the haillake. Because these barriers are made up of loose rock and dirt combined with ice, if the ice melts, the hail will collapse, causing the ice lake to burst into flooding (GLOF).

In the new study, researchers trying to learn more about what happens when glaciers continue to melt in the coming decades, conducting 5.4 billion simulations based on lake models developed using terrain and satellite data.

The results show that there are about 5,000 haillakes in the Himalayas that may be unstable, and that these high-risk lakes are the largest lakes. In the eastern Parting Himalayas, the risk of flooding in the near future is three times higher due to global warming.

At the same time, the researchers note that previous studies have shown that as many as two-thirds of Himalayan glaciers will disappear over the next decade, suggesting that large amounts of water in the lakes may pose a serious threat to people living downstream.

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