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Lake Imja, a glacier lake near Mount Everest in the Himalaya has grown to three times its length since 1990, the research showed. Wikimedia Commons

The volume of glacial lakes worldwide has increased by about 50 per cent since 1990 as glaciers melt and retreat due to climate change, show 30 years of NASA satellite data.

Lake Imja, a glacier lake near Mount Everest in the Himalaya has grown to three times its length since 1990, the research showed.


The findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, can aid researchers assessing the potential hazards to communities downstream of these often unstable lakes and help improve the accuracy of sea level rise estimates.

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“We have known that not all meltwater is making it into the oceans immediately,” said lead author Dan Shugar of the University of Calgary in Canada.

“But until now there were no data to estimate how much was being stored in lakes or groundwater.”

The study estimates current glacial lakee volumes total about 156 cubic kilometres of water.

The international team of researchers initially planned to use satellite imaging and other remote-sensing data to study two dozen glacial lakes in High Mountain Asia, the geographic region that includes the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountain ranges, including the Himalaya.


The study estimates current glacial lake volumes total about 156 cubic kilometres of water. Pexels

The team ultimately analysed more than 250,000 scenes from the Landsat satellite missions, a joint NASA/US Geological Survey programme. The team looked at the data in five time-steps beginning with 1990 to examine all the glaciated regions of the world except Antarctica and analyse how glacial lakes changed over that period.

Glacial lakes are not stable like the lakes in which most people are used to swimming or boating because they are often dammed by ice or glacial sediment called a moraine, which is composed of loose rock and debris that is pushed to the front and sides of glaciers. Rather, they can be quite unstable and can burst their banks or dams, causing massive floods downstream.

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These kinds of floods from glacial lakes, known as glacial lake outburst floods, have been responsible for thousands of deaths over the past century, as well as the destruction of villages, infrastructure, and livestock. A glacial lake outburst flood affected the Hunza Valley in Pakistan in May 2020.

“This is an issue for many parts of the world where people live downstream from these hazardous lakes, mostly in the Andes and in places like Bhutan and Nepal, where these floods can be devastating,” Shugar said. (IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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