Climate Melting of Glacier Threatens To Flood Peruvian City

"A lawsuit is leaning on the new research that found a global warming fingerprint on the melting glacier threatening to send an outburst flood into Huaraz, Peru."

"Not all of the water from the planet’s melting glaciers is pouring into rivers and oceans. A surprising amount is building up behind unstable piles of rubble left behind by the retreating ice. As the Earth continues to warm, the swelling lakes threaten to burst through the glacial moraines holding them back and wash away the forests, towns and farms below.

The threat is particularly high in the Northern Andes, where some of the world’s last big tropical glaciers are dwindling even faster than those in the Alps or Himalaya. At low latitudes, the length of the day doesn’t change much during the year, so tropical glaciers don’t get a seasonal respite from the sun’s direct rays. That’s resulted in a rapid meltdown of glaciers near the equator, and the formation of hundreds of lakes in recent decades.

New research presents evidence of a direct link between global warming and the growing risk of an outburst flood to the Andean city of Huaraz, Peru. About 120,000 people there live in fear of the sirens that would signal that Lake Palcacocha, which is constantly swelling with water from the melting Palcaraju Glacier, had burst through its banks and was surging toward them, down the steep valley northeast of the city."

Bob Berwyn reports for Inside Climate News February 4, 2021.

Source: Inside Climate News, 02/05/2021