2016-08-16. Melting glaciers portend variety of catastrophes.

posted Aug 19, 2016, 12:08 PM by Alan Gould
By Associated Press. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: PASTORURI GLACIER, Peru — The tropical glaciers of South America are dying from soot and rising temperatures, threatening water supplies to communities that have depended on them for centuries. But experts say that the slow process measured in inches of glacial retreat per year also can lead to a sudden, dramatic tragedy. The melting of glaciers like Peru’s Pastoruri has put cities such as Huaraz, located downslope from the glacier about 35 miles away, at risk from what scientists call a “glof” — glacial lake outburst flood. A glof occurs when the weak walls of a mountain valley collapse under the weight of meltwater from a glacier. Recent examples include the rapid draining in 2013 of a lake at Chile’s Ventisquero glacier in the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, six years after another, nearby lake essentially disappeared there. ...“As glaciers disappear around the world, there is less water available for use for hydroelectric power, as a renewable resource for agriculture, for human consumption,” said Benjamin Orlove, a professor of international and public affairs at Colombia University in New York. “The glacier retreat also brings many disasters. Entire slopes are destabilized, creating landslides that travel many miles and have destroyed entire towns.”....  http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Melting-glaciers-pose-threat-beyond-water-9146303.php