Destructive power of Glacial Lakes in the Himalaya
One of the most important consequences of glacial melting in the Himalayas due to climate change, has been the formation of massive Glacial Lakes. These lakes which form as a direct result of retreating glaciers, have become a major threat throughout Nepal primarily because the lakes are held back by natural loose stone walls called moraines that are highly unstable and prone to collapse.
One of the most dramatic is the Inja lake in the foothills of Mt Everest. This lake did not even exist 60 years ago but has now grown to over 2 km long and 600 metres wide as the surrounding glaciers continue to melt at up to 10 metres a year and in extreme cases much faster.
We will be visiting this very area at the end of the month but to give you a taster we have a video from Climate for Life our partner project with WWF Nepal, showing the extent of what can happen to a community and the environment from a previous GLOF ( Glacial Lake Outburst Flood) incident.
In the second half of the video we see the Inja glacier and glacial lake first hand. This film offers a stark insight into the dramatic changes taking place in Nepal and serves up some rather disturbing food for thought when we see first hand, the effects climate change is having on the environment.