One of the Karakoram glaciers provoking the greatest concern is Khurdopin, in the remote Shimshal Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, the country’s northernmost region. The glacier has been in a “surge” phase since May last year.
Experts from FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, part of the Aga Khan Development Network in Pakistan, are now monitoring a large lake that formed last October when the glacier blocked the Shimshal River.
There are fears that the lake, now mostly frozen, could cause an outburst flood in the coming summer months.
Salmanuddin Shah, program manager at FOCUS, said the glacier had grown by 1.7km (about 1 mile) since the surge began last year.
“We are monitoring the glacier on a daily basis through satellite imagery. When the temperature starts rising we will visit the glacier for physical assessment,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“We will get a clearer picture of how it will behave from this April onwards.”