In the Himalayas, flash floods made from melting glaciers threaten the heavily populated area. The melting glaciers create glacial lakes, which if their banks burst, would send a flash flood down to the lower part of the region, where the people live. Currently only 16% of the lakes threaten people, but as the glaciers melt, the percentage grows. The hydrologic conditions of the lake determine whether the lake will flood or not flood. Most of these lakes are found in the Tibetan Plateau, an elevated region of Tibet and China. There are 1,291 lakes in the Tibetan Plateau, all of which checked and determined whether safe or not by a satellite used by a team of researchers. These lakes are naturally formed, so they have a random chance of flooding. However, the lakes are one of the town’s in the area’s largest dangers, along with some vicious wild animals.
A GLOF*, a common type of flood, is an outburst flood that occurs when the dam containing the glacial lake fails. The most dangerous lake is Cirenmaco, with three GLOF events. It is a hotspot of floods and is being identified and studied by scientists. Many people are trying to stop this, including Sergiu Jiduc, a geoscientist. Jiduc says, ‘This certainly applies when local communities are involved: their long histories of residing in and living with their surroundings may, among other things, capture environmental changes that might not be detected through remote sensing.” Horodyskyj, another scientist, agrees with this, adding the fact that remote sensing gives an advantage because it can catalogue the dangers of glacial lakes bursting. They are brainstorming ways to stop it, while using satellites to catalog the changes in the glacial lakes.
*Glacial lake outburst flood
This could help people in Tibet if there are flood warnings in the near future. If people learn how to stop it in Tibet, the could use the same technique to stop those other floods, or if the floods cannot be stopped, the people could predict the floods and evacuate the area. Many lives could be saved, and with extra effort, the places they live can be saved too. Because of global warming, floods are becoming imminent in lots of places and are threatening to strip people of their lives, food, and houses. Many people will be saved if people listen to these scientists. This would be a great helper in saving people from disasters and this science could evolve into helping predict earthquakes and other natural disasters. The same type of science is being used to predict volcanoes instead of going inside and having a chance of dying.
By Rani 4T