#GlobalWarming; #flooding; #NaturalLakesInHimalayas; #GLOF; #Simulations
New York, Jan 2 (Canadian-Media): It was reported by three researchers with the University of Potsdam, New York that continuous unabated global warming could cause bursting of moraines of thousands of natural lakes in the Himalayas causing flooding downriver, phy.org/News.com reported.
Results of the simulations run on lake models by Georg Veh, Oliver Korup and Ariane Walz were described in their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The north face of Mount Everest seen from the path to the base camp in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. Credit: Luca Galuzzi/Wikipedia.
With continuous unabated climate change, scientists have already seen the melting of glaciers of Himalayas and forming of natural lakes—85 of them in the Sikkim Himalaya between 2003 and 2010.
Such lakes form naturally as water makes its way down the mountains, and as the ice melts the moraine gives way, resulting in what the researchers describe as glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), several of which have already occurred in recent decades.
And they found that risks from flooding due to GLOFs in the near future were three times higher in the eastern parts of the Himalayas and that up to two-thirds of Himalayan glaciers are going to disappear in the next decade, indicating that a lot of water buildup in lakes is going to pose a serious threat to those living downstream.
This phenomenon motivated researchers to carry out 5.4 billion simulations based on lake models developed with topographic and satellite data.
After running the simulations, the researchers found approximately unstable 5,000 lakes in the Himalayas due to moraine weaknesses and those lakes with the highest risk of a GLOF were the ones with the largest volume of water.