Geo-Climate News: What Caused Twin Mega-Avalanches in Tibet?

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 17 February 2018


Massive Tibet Avalances of 2016

Four Causes Discovered: Climate a Factor in Three

What Caused Twin Mega-Avalanches in Tibet?
NASA Earth Observatory, February 6, 2018.


"There were four factors that came together and triggered the collapses."

"First, increasing snowfall since the mid-1990s caused snow to pile up and start working its way toward the front edge of the glaciers (a process known as surging)."

"Second, a great deal of rain fell in the summer of 2016."

"Third, water pooled up underneath the glaciers, even as the edges remained frozen to the ground."

"Fourth, the glaciers sat on a fine-grained layer of siltstone and clay that became extremely slippery."

"Would you say these collapses were a product of climate change?
Climate change was necessary, but other factors that had nothing to do with climate were also critical. The increasing mass of the glaciers since the 1990s and the heavy rains and meltwater in 2016 are connected to climate change. The type of bedrock and the way the edges were frozen to the ground had nothing to do with climate change."



All Winter backcountry travelers must be aware that the warmer, wetter conditions we are experiencing increases a whole range of Winter hazards.



Avalanche Events of 2016

Tibet Just Had Another Massive Ice Avalanche

Researchers: Climate change likely caused deadly 2016 avalanche in Tibet




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