NEW DELHI, Oct. 22, 2023 (TBINN)
Rising temperatures, glacial melt, heavy rainfall… The multiplier effect of climate change combined with untrammelled construction and pollution to wreak havoc in Sikkim, say scientists, warning that more such disasters in the Himalayas could be in the offing with the rise in the number of glacial lakes.
As Sikkim picks up the pieces following flash-floods that saw many thousands being displaced, major infra-structure projects destroyed and scores of people killed earlier this month, experts said other Himalayan states, including Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, are susceptible to similar Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (G.L.O.F.).
A G.L.O.F. is a catastrophic deluge triggered by the failure of a moraine dam containing a glacial lake.
Vulnerable areas include Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, where numerous glacial lakes are rapidly expanding due to climate change,” Environmental Expert Anjal Prakash told the Press.
Experts attribute G.L.O.F.s to melting glaciers, a consequence of escalating temperatures driven by human-induced pollution and unchecked construction in the region. Factors such as earthquakes and Black carbon emissions also play a role.