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5/29/2007

Mountain communities fear melting glaciers, flooding

Nepal
May 28, 2007

Only 27 years ago Imjha Tse Valley was filled with glaciers but due to a rise in temperature, they have melted at an average rate of 10 metres a year and formed a huge lake containing 28 million cubic metres of water. The lake is 100m deep, 500m wide and 2km long. "The lake is absolute proof of the dangerous impact of global warming in this world, and the worst consequence is in the Himalayan region." In the past few decades, there have been several incidents of glacial lakes bursting, flooding villages, causing landslides, killing people and destroying farms and houses. Over 20 glacial lakes are at risk of bursting out of moraine dams. Of Nepal's 3,000 glacial lakes, over 2,000 have gradually melted and contain lakes, but up to now there has been little study of this phenomenon. Climate change experts are concerned that glaciers formed by over two million years of snowfall are now receding faster in the Himalayas than anywhere else in the world.
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