The mountains situated in the northern part of Bhutan feature an impressive landscape that is enhanced by the presence of ancient glaciers. Cultural conservation has kept this land in a pristine state as locals believe that the mountains, lakes, and glaciers which doth the region are worthy of being worshipped and respected as deities.
Despite the lack of direct human activities, climate change is starting to become visible in the region. Higher temperatures have boosted the rate at which some glaciers melt, and a new risk is emerging.
Some of the glaciers will retreat up to 35 meers every year, and the water from this process will find its way towards the lakes found close to them. Due to an increased influx of water, a phenomenon known as glacial lake outburst flood (also known under the shorter name of GLOF) can appear.
According to the director of the National Center of Hidrology and Meteorology, the phenomenon can be envisioned as a skyborne tsunami that can occur at any time, endangering the lives of thousands of people that could be surprised by flash floods. While an early-warning system has been created, it can offer a few minutes at best before disaster strikes.
More than 70% of all Bhutan settlements are located near river valleys, which means that many lives and economic resources could be lost in the case of unexpected floods. Out of 2674 glacial cases, 17 have been deemed to be potentially dangerous, but the number could be considerably higher in the future.
Bhutan enjoys the feat of being the only carbon negative country in the world, as the government has taken extensive measures to prevent the effects of climate change by rejecting the development of any industries which can harm the environment in the long run.
Only time will tell what will happen in the long run.