with melting ice, the risk of flooding is great



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Climate crisis: with melting ice, huge risk of flooding

Climate crisis: with melting ice, risk of major floods – (franceinfo)

Article written by

france info – P.-Y. Salique, M. Delrue, J. Laurent, L. Kaysen, D. Sébastien

French Television

As we saw recently in India, melting ice due to global warming can cause major floods and the formation of glacial lakes. In France, the Alps are affected by this risk.

Melting ice can cause flooding disasters. In northern India, a mudflow invaded the small town of Melli, located almost at sea level, two months ago. Within hours, they left 77 people dead and 100 missing in the valley. Further upstream, the Singtam bridge was unable to withstand the force of water and debris. In the area, 1,200 houses were damaged and 5,000 people were rescued. Because further upstream, the Chungthang dam broke. Nothing can stop millions of cubic meters of water from South Lhonak Lake, at an altitude of 5,200 meters. This lake is fed by the third highest glacier in the world. It is filled, but it is impossible to imagine that suddenly the volume will disappear by two thirds.

A risk that is also a concern for France

Melting ice fills lakes in the Himalayas. In Pakistan, 3,000 lakes are formed. Thirty of them directly threaten a region of 7 million people downstream. In France, in the Alps, 150,000 cubic meters of water is at risk of spilling into Tignes (Savoie). Five years ago, this lake did not exist. Global warming has made it grow. In the summer of 2023, it was partially drained, a temporary solution. In the world, all cold regions are affected by these flash floods. The number and volume of these glacial lakes has increased by 50% in 30 years.

Among our sources

Nature Communications

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