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Glacier Dam Overwhelmed by South Asian Heatwave


As schools across India close early for the summer — unable to operate amid the extreme heat and resulting power shut offs — a massive glacial lake outburst in Pakistan wiped out a bridge, two power plants, and flooded a village as the record-breaking, months-long heatwave grinds on. Record-high temperatures accelerated ice and snow melt, feeding a lake near the Shishpar glacier in northern Pakistan’s Hunza District so quickly it breached its ice dam and dumped 10,000 cubic feet of water per second down the valley. Residents had sufficient warning to evacuate, but the flooding destroyed agricultural land, power projects and some homes.

“This glacier melting is worrisome because it’s now happening on an almost annual basis,” Hunza Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Usman Ali told the Washington Post, noting that many regions of the country are affected. “All of this is related to climate change.”

Republished from Nexus Media.

Sources: Heat wave: PBS NewsHourWashington Post $; Schools: TIME; Dam-busting glacier melt: Washington Post $; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwavesGlacier and ice sheet melt

Video prediction from 2017:

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Related journal article: Deadly Heat Waves Projected in the Densely-Populated Agricultural Regions of South Asia

Featured image: video screenshot from Research Square.




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Glacier Dam Overwhelmed by South Asian Heatwave

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