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The race to protect people from dangerous glacial lakes

Ryan Kellman
/
NPR

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 https://www.npr.org.

Rebecca Hersher (she/her) is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She's also reported on research about puppies. Before her work on the Science Desk, she was a producer for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered in Los Angeles.