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Glacier Hazards From Space


Descent Into the Ice homepage

Launch Slide Show Glacier Hazards From Space

Glacier hazards represent a continuous threat to human lives and infrastructure in mountain regions. Outbursts of glacier lakes, ice break-offs and subsequent avalanches, and related disasters can kill hundreds or even thousands of people at once and cause damage with a worldwide annual sum in the tens of millions of dollars. Global warming is exacerbating the situation by causing rapid changes to glaciers and glacier lakes. For this reason, and because the remoteness of glaciers makes ground-based observations difficult, satellite imagery has become an invaluable tool—and sometimes the only tool—for glacier hazard assessment. Here, view a series of glacier-related disasters and hazards imaged by a NASA satellite for the international Global Land Ice Measurements from Space, or GLIMS, project. To launch the slide show, click on the image at left.—Andreas Kääb

Andreas Kääb, a lecturer and senior research associate in the Department of Geography at the University of Zürich-Irchel, is chair of the International Working Group on Glacier and Permafrost Hazards in Mountains.

   

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