Growing Glacial Lakes Another Indicator Of Climate Change

Sep 11, 2020

A new study finds that lakes filled by glacier melt are growing.
Credit Oscar Vilca

A new study suggests that glacial lakes are growing as the earth's temperatures increase.

The study used satellite images beginning in 1990 to see how the area of lakes that come from glaciers has changed over time. Dan Shugar, an University of Calgary associate professor, said they wrote a code to identify and measure the lakes.

"What we've found was that since 1990 the amount of water in these lakes has increased by just about 50 percent, so a massive increase in the stored water," said Shugar.

Shugar said these increases can lead to flooding in regions like the Himalayas. He said they identified 80 lakes in Wyoming, but they are all likely stable.

Shugar said this study is another piece of evidence that climate change is negatively affecting the Earth.

"The changes in extent and number of glacial lakes that we've mapped is another line of evidence to indicate that we are drastically changing the surface of the planet," he said.

Have a question about this story? Please contact the reporter, Ashley Piccone, at apiccone@uwyo.edu