Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The race to protect people from dangerous glacial lakes

An estimated 15 million people around the world are threatened by floods from glacial lakes, according to recent research.And the danger is growing as Earth heats up. Nepal is ground zero for research about dangerous glacial lakes, in part because the mountainous country is on the front lines of the problem.
Ryan Kellman

An estimated 15 million people are threatened by floods that happen when glaciers melt rapidly. It's a growing global threat from climate change. Communities in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal are grappling with that threat now, as scientists try to understand its scope and what can be done to protect people in the future.

You can see images and video from Tsho Rolpa Lake in Nepal's Rolwaling Valley here.

This story is part of the NPR Climate Desk series Beyond the Poles: The far-reaching dangers of melting ice.

This story was reported in collaboration with Ryan Kellman and Pragati Shahi, with field support from Dipesh Joshi and Pasang Sherpa. It was edited by Neela Banerjee and Sadie Babits. Voiceovers by Jacob Conrad and Tristan Plunkett.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Rebecca Hersher
Rebecca Hersher (she/her) is a reporter on NPR's Climate Desk, where she reports on climate science, weather disasters, infrastructure and how humans are adapting to a hotter world.
Related Stories