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National

July 27, 2017

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Formation of new glacial lakes increases danger of outburst flood

Formation of new glacial lakes increases danger of outburst flood

Islamabad: Most of the glaciers in Pakistan’s geographic limits are debris covered and their melting rate differs according to the thickness and type of debris in addition to the other factors such as their aspect and elevation.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has installed two AWS with the financial assistance of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Area Development (ICIMOD) in the accumulation and ablation zones of the glacier to monitor the gradient flow and drift velocity along with the ablation rate assessment under different conditions.

According to a report prepared by PMD, there are two meteorological observatories located in the radius of 15 km around the Passu Lake at elevations 2,815m and 2,975m respectively above the mean sea level. The local community is also well organised on the individual village level as well as at the regional level. There are numerous young educated and well trained volunteers who are always willing to undertake any challenging task in proper supervision.

It pointed out that snowline has been shifting rapidly uphill causing the biodiversity to migrate and precipitation in the form of rainfall instead of snowfall. Such uprise of thermal regime has started melting the low elevation glaciers at a faster rate. As a result the formation of new glacial lakes and expansion of existing lakes to the danger of outburst flood has increased.

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