Culprit of Deadly Tibet Avalanche: Climate Change

aru-glacier

From Science Live:

“An avalanche of ice that killed nine in western Tibet may be a sign that climate change has come to the region, a new study finds.

The avalanche at the Aru glacier in July 2016 was a massive event that spilled ice and rock 98 feet (30 meters) thick over an area of 4 square miles (10 square kilometers). Nine nomadic herders and many of their animals died during the 5-minute cataclysm. It was the second-biggest glacial avalanche ever recorded, and initially mystified scientists.

“This is new territory scientifically,” Andreas Kääb, a glaciologist at the University of Oslo, said in a statement in September. “It is unknown why an entire glacier tongue would shear off like this.” [Images of Melt: Earth’s Vanishing Ice]

Now, an international group of scientists thinks they know the reason: Meltwater at the base of the glacier must have hastened the slide of the debris.

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