KATHMANDU: A multi-national expedition to Nepal's high mountains is seeking answers to a threat created by a warming climate — the formation of new and potentially dangerous lakes as glaciers melt, high up in alpine regions across the globe.
According to The Mountain Institute, the expedition’s findings will enhance current understanding of these new lakes in the Nepal Himalayas, their threats to downstream populations and solutions.
During the past decades in Mt Everest region and Makalu-Barun national parks of Nepal, 24 new glacial lakes have formed and 34 major lakes have grown substantially as a result of climate change and regional warming trends. Recent satellite analyses have suggested that 11 of the new lakes "potentially dangerous".
The Mountain Institute with Hokkaido University, Japan, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development- Nepal, and American Alpine Club launched the first scientific field expedition to the remote Hongu valley to assess the condition of the 11 glacial lakes. The expedition was funded by the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, with co-financing and logistical support provided by Hokkaido University, ICIMOD, and TMI. The expedition included Nepali PhD student Damodar Lamsal.