File:Glacial lakes Bhutan.jpg

From Global Warming Art

This image from the ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite shows the termini of the glaciers in the Bhutan-Himalaya. Glacial lakes have been rapidly forming on the surface of the debris-covered glaciers in this region during the last few decades. USGS researchers have found a strong correlation between increasing temperatures and glacial retreat in this region. [1]

According to a joint press release [2] issued by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, the great majority of the world’s glaciers appear to be declining at rates equal to or greater than long-established trends. Glaciers in the Himalaya are wasting "at alarming and accelerating rates", as indicated by comparisons of satellite and historic data, and as shown by the widespread, rapid growth of lakes on the glacier surfaces.

The rapid formation and expansion of such lakes can lead the phenomenon of glacial lake outburst flooding, wherein the growth of such lakes exceeds the limitations of natural barriers to contain them, and the failure of natural dams leads to catastophic flooding downstream. Such floods are becoming more commons in the Himalaya, and have already led to the loss of property and lives. [3]


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