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Understanding the risk of glacial lake outburst floods in the twenty-first century

Mountain communities are at risk of various climate change-related disasters, including glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Effective GLOF risk identification and management require a holistic consideration of the diverse controls and drivers of GLOFs. This Comment outlines primary challenges related to rapidly changing mountains and complex system response.

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Fig. 1: The components of a GLOF risk — hazard, exposure and vulnerability — and their drivers.
Fig. 2: Lake Parón in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, with the majestic peak of the Pirámide Massif (5,885 metres above sea level) in the background.


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The author thanks W. Haeberli for providing feedback on the original draft of this Comment.

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Correspondence to Adam Emmer.

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Emmer, A. Understanding the risk of glacial lake outburst floods in the twenty-first century. Nat Water (2024).

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