Climate change: Major glaciers worldwide to disappear by 2050 | Climate Crisis News

A very powerful protective measure to forestall major glacier retreat globally could be to drastically reduce carbon emissions.

A few of the world’s most famous glaciers, including within the Dolomites in Italy, the Yosemite and Yellowstone parks in the US, and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, will disappear by 2050 because of worldwide warming, regardless of the temperature rise scenario, in response to a UNESCO report.

The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO, which monitors some 18,600 glaciers across 50 of its World Heritage Sites, says one-third of those are set to vanish by 2050.

While the remainder might be saved by keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) relative to pre-industrial levels, in a business-as-usual emissions scenario, about 50 percent of those World Heritage glaciers could almost entirely disappear by 2100.

The study “shows these glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 attributable to CO2 emissions, that are warming temperatures”, UNESCO said.

World Heritage glaciers, as defined by UNESCO, represent about 10 percent of the world’s glacier areas and include a few of the world’s best-known ones, whose loss is very visible as they’re focal points for global tourism.

Inevitable shrinking

The report’s lead writer, Tales Carvalho, said World Heritage glaciers lose on average some 58 billion tonnes of ice every 12 months – similar to the annual volume of water utilized in France and Spain together – and contribute to almost 5 percent of worldwide observed sea level rise.

Carvalho said a very powerful protective measure to forestall major glacier retreat worldwide could be drastically reducing carbon emissions.

UNESCO recommends that given the inevitable further shrinking of lots of these glaciers within the near future, local authorities should make glaciers a spotlight of policy by improving monitoring and research and by implementing disaster risk-reduction measures.

“As glacier lakes refill, they will burst and could cause catastrophic floods downstream,” Carvalho noted.

Countries have pledged to maintain global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels – a goal the world is ready to miss on current emission trends.

“This report is a call to motion,” said UNESCO head Audrey Azoulay upfront of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt starting on Monday.

“Only a rapid reduction in our CO2 emissions levels can save glaciers and the exceptional biodiversity that is dependent upon them. COP27 could have an important role to assist find solutions to this issue.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here