Uttarakhand glacier burst

Uttarakhand glacier burst | Experts point to climate change impact

Banks of the Ganga wear a deserted look as people stay away as a precautionary measure in Rishikesh after a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area of Uttarakhand on February 7, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

A deluge that resulted from a glacial melt on Nanda Devi flooded the Rishiganga river in Uttarakhand and washed away at least two hydroelectric power projects — the13.2 MW Rishiganga hydroelectric power project and the Tapovan project on the Dhauliganga river, a tributary of the Alakananda.

There were also concerns that the excess water would further travel downstream to the river Alaknanda and threaten villages as well as hydro projects on the river.

However the India Meteorological Department has said that no rains are forecast. Officials of the Central Water Commission meanwhile said the flooding from the glacial burst has been contained.

Environmental experts have attributed the glacial melt to global warming. Glacier retreat and permafrost thaw are projected to decrease the stability of mountain slopes and increase the number and area of glacier lakes, according to the latest assessment reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

There is also high confidence that the number and area of glacier lakes will continue to increase in most regions in the coming decades, and new lakes will develop closer to steep and potentially unstable mountain walls where lake outbursts can be more easily triggered.

Uttarakhand glacier burst | Experts point to climate change impact
 

Farooq Azam, Assistant Professor, Glaciology and Hydrology division, IIT Indore, said such a glacial burst was an “extremely rare event”.

“Satellite and Google Earth images do not show a glacial lake near the region, but there’s a possibility that there may be a water pocket in the region. Water pockets are lakes inside the glaciers, which may have erupted leading to this event. We need further analysis, weather reports and data to confirm if this indeed was the case,” he said.

Watch | Massive flood in Dhauli Ganga

Climate change has driven erratic weather patterns like increased snowfall and rainfall, warmer winters has led to the melting of a lot of snow. The thermal profile of ice, say experts, was increasing. Earlier the temperature of ice ranged from -6 to -20 degree C, it is now -2 making it more susceptible to melting.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 12:06:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/uttarakhand-glacier-burst-experts-point-to-climate-change-impact/article33775313.ece

In This Package
Uttarakhand glacier disaster: Death certificates may be issued for missing persons
Efforts continue: A new machine brought to Tapovan tunnel to carry out further drilling, at Joshimath on February 13, 2021.
Uttarakhand disaster | Police perform last rites of unidentified bodies in Chamoli
Uttarakhand disaster | 64 from Uttar Pradesh still missing
The Hindu Explains | Why are geologists worried about a slew of hydroelectric projects and environmental stress in Uttarakhand?
Uttarakhand flood disaster | Relief operation continues in Chamoli
Scientists uncertain about impact of budding pool in Uttarakhand flood zone
In Pictures | The aftermath of Uttarakhand glacier disaster
The agonising cost of ham-handed development
A resilient future for Uttarakhand
Data | Over 50,000 hectares of forest land in Uttarakhand diverted for various projects in last 30 years
Troubled mountains: On Uttarakhand glacier disaster
Uttarakhand floods: Amit Shah speaks to CM, assures help
Tracing the Ganga's intricate waterweb
Dams and damages
Glacier burst: IMD says no adverse weather over affected areas on Feb 7, 8
Armed forces move in to provide assistance in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand glacier burst brings back memory of 2013 flash floods
Uttarakhand flood: 2019 study warned Himalayan glaciers melting at alarming speed
You are reading
Uttarakhand glacier burst | Experts point to climate change impact
Uttarakhand glacier burst | Dhauliganga’s water level at Joshimath breaches records, say Central Water Commission
Uttarakhand glacier burst | Tapovan hydel project entirely washed away, says ITBP Officer
7 killed after ‘glacial burst’ in Uttarakhand
Uma Bharati recalls her warning on Uttarakhand hydel projects
Uttarakhand glacier burst: Death toll up to 26, rescue operation on in Chamoli
Explained: How glaciers, glacial lakes form and why they break
Uttarakhand glacier disaster | Avalanche damages a part of under-construction hydro plant in Tapovan: NTPC
Uttarakhand glacier disaster | ISRO, DRDO trying to ascertain exact cause, says CM
Story of the man in the viral Uttarakhand rescue photo
13 of 486 Uttarakhand glacial lakes vulnerable: GSI
Engineer from Kashmir among those missing in Uttarakhand
Landslip, not glacial lake burst, probable trigger for Uttarakhand flood
Projects above an elevation of 2,200 metres recipe for disaster, say experts
Uttarakhand glacier disaster: A phone call that saved a dozen lives
Efforts on to find 35 labourers trapped in Uttarakhand tunnel
197 still missing as Uttarakhand avalanche toll touches 32
Floodlights are lit around the Tapovan tunnel area where rescuers are searching for trapped workers on February 9, 2021.
Uttarakhand flood | 71 from U.P. remain untraced
Uttarakhand flood | Families await reunion with loved ones trapped in tunnel
Next Story