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Glacier Turns into Lake

A new lake has been born in Nepal, that's half a mile long and over 300 feet deep. It's also 4 miles above sea level, because twenty-five years ago it was a glacier. "It's an important piece of evidence that the climate is actually warming," says Chris Folland of the U.K. Hadley Center for Climate Research. And old records kept by convicts in Australia show that the ocean level there has been rising for 160 years.

Right now, the lake in Nepal is held together by a wall of frozen rock, but that?s melting too and soon this natural dam will burst, releasing a massive wall of water into the valley below, the most densely populated Sherpa valley in Nepal. The only way to get there is on foot and everything is carried in and out on paths. When the dam breaks, it will be a local disaster.

Global warming also makes Australia nervous, because most of the population lives along the coast. Now 160 year old records have been discovered in the archives of the Royal Society in London, which show that the ocean around Australia is rising.

Measurements made by Thomas Lempriere at Tasmania's Port Arthur convict settlement 160 years ago have been compared with data from a modern tide gauge. In 1841, he carved an arrow on a vertical rock face on the Isle of the Dead, and carefully recorded rising water levels during 1841 and 1842. "There is a rate of sea level rise of about (one-third of an inch) a year, consistent with other Australian observations," says David Pugh, of the U.K. Southampton Oceanography Center. "This is an important result?providing a benchmark against which Australian regional sea level can be measured in 10, 50 or 100 years time."

Learn the facts about global warming and listen to the Saturday, February 8 Dreamland show when Henry Willis explains why he thinks global warming isn't just in our future?it?s here now. Click "Listen Now" on our masthead to hear the show anytime. To learn more,click here and here.

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