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The glacial contribution to river flow varies greatly, both
annually and within and between catchments. The hydrological significance of glacier runoff also depends on other
components of the hydrological cycle, such as precipitation,
evapo-transpiration, and groundwater flow. In consequence,
the impacts of glacier mass loss will be highly variable both
locally and worldwide. Some regions will undoubtedly be affected by water shortage, whereas others are unlikely to be
significantly affected by glacial melt. Much detailed work
remains to be done to adequately predict regional and local
hydrological responses to climate change. Flood risks are
expected to increase in some regions, including increased
frequencies of glacier lake outburst flood (GLOFs) and weather-related flash floods in
both the Hindu Kush Himalayas and in the Andes.