The Heat Is Online

Soaring Himalayan Temperatures Threaten Massive Flooding

Thousands at risk of Himalaya glacier floods, April 17, 2002

LONDON - More than 40 Himalayan lakes could burst their banks in five years' time, sending millions of gallons of floodwater down into the valleys and killing thousands, scientists said yesterday.

The lakes, formed by water from melting glaciers, are filling up faster and faster as glaciers succumb to global warming. Average temperatures in the Himalayas have risen by one degree Celsius since the 1970s.

Researchers at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have identified at least 44 potentially dangerous glacial lakes in the tiny Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan.