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Tag: glacial

Melting Himalayan glaciers increase risk for glacial lake outburst floods

Melting Himalayan glaciers increase risk for glacial lake outburst floods

Science
Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Simulations designed and run by researchers at the University of Potsdam suggest thousands of lakes in the Himalayas are at risk of generating dangerous outburst floods as rising global temperatures continue to melt the region's snow and ice. Glacial lakes form as melt water pools in mountain crevices. These natural lakes have proliferated throughout the Himalayas over the last two decades as global temperatures have continued to rise. Many of these lakes are naturally dammed by moraines, barriers compiled of sediment and rock held together by ice. To estimate the number of glacial lakes that are dammed by unstable moraines, researchers ran 5.4 billion computer simulations using data from topographical maps and satellite surveys. Their models found 5,000 lakes feature un...
Glacial melt rates in the Himalayas have more than doubled since 2000

Glacial melt rates in the Himalayas have more than doubled since 2000

Science
June 19 (UPI) -- Global warming is shrinking the glaciers in the Himalayas. According to a new survey, glaciers in the region have lost roughly a vertical foot and a half of ice. Scientists compiled data from satellite observations collected over the last 40 years across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan. The analysis, detailed this week in the journal Science Advances, showed glacial melt rates have doubled since the turn of the century. During the last 18 years, the average glacial melt rate across the world's tallest mountain range was twice what it was between 1975 and 2000. "This is the clearest picture yet of how fast Himalayan glaciers are melting over this time interval, and why," lead researcher Joshua Maurer, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observat...
Black carbon persists across the planet, accelerating glacial melt

Black carbon persists across the planet, accelerating glacial melt

Science
June 30 (UPI) -- New research shows black carbon deposits vary across the planet, but persist in a variety of glacial ecosystems.Black carbon is the soot-like particulate matter released by the combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel and biomass -- through man-made processes, like the burning of coal, and natural means, like wildfires.Climate scientists are interested in black carbon because deposits among snow and glaciers affect melting rates. Black soot absorbs more energy than white snow and ice.Scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder recently conducted a global survey of black carbon deposits. Molecular analysis of the deposits helped scientists trace the sources of black carbon deposits and measure changes in deposition rates.On Greenland's ice sheet, researchers found evidence...