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Formation of glacial lakes in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas and GLOF risk assessment

01/05/2010 | ICIMOD

Formation of glacial lakes in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas and GLOF risk assessment This report contains an assessment of the threat facing the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region from the recent (post-1950s) and rapid formation of meltwater lakes on the surface or at the end of a large number of the region's glaciers. It provides a detailed background to the present situation and aims to help fulfil the requirement for regional knowledge about glacial lakes and glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) risk. In this way, planners and policy makers, as well as development scientists, will have a tool to facilitate regional collaboration aimed at reducing the glacial lake hazard. The report asserts that there is no doubt that the driving force is the current climate warming. It presents individual case studies of the catastrophic outburst (glacial lake outburst floods) from such glacial lakes demonstrating the potential for acceleration of extensive downstream damage and loss of life is high. The report also attempts to modify the potentially damaging misrepresentation made on some occasions in the news media and even in some scientific literature.

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