Doorgaan naar hoofdcontent

World’s vanishing glaciers put millions at risk

World’s vanishing glaciers
put millions at risk


From the Himalayas to Switzerland, the world’s glaciers are melting – threatening vital water supplies and increasing the risk of sea level rise.


By Tim Radford
LONDON, 23 May, 2017 – In the next 25 years, more than half of all of Switzerland’s small glaciers will disappear −  and Canada could lose 70% of the volume of its frozen rivers by 2100.
Some of the 37 glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana, have been reduced by 85%, and of the 37, only 26 remain large enough to warrant the classification of glacier − that is, they have enough mass to flow.
And in high Asia, where 800 million people are at least partly dependent on summer meltwater, there are worries.
Hamish Pritchard, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey, reports in Nature journal that the summer meltwater from the glaciers in the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Pamir and other mountain ranges altogether delivers enough for the basic needs of 136 million people.

Glacial meltwater

During droughts, meltwater is the principal source for the upper Indus and Aral river basins, and any glacial water loss would increase the risk of social instability, conflict, and sudden, uncontrolled migrations of population.
According to Dr Pritchard, in total, the glaciers of high-mountain Asia send 23 cubic kilometres of water downstream each summer. Without these glaciers, summer monthly water inputs in an average year would be down by 38% in the upper Indus basin, and by up to 58% in drought conditions.
In the upper Aral basin, lost summer water inputs would frequently reach 100%. Glacial loss would be bad news for the people of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
All the more reason, says Twila Moon, postdoctoral research associate at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado, to systematically monitor the condition of the world’s glaciers and to maintain data.

“The evidence is overwhelming − Earth is losing
its ice. Much of this loss is irreversible and
the result of human-caused climate change”

She argues in Science journal that although glacier melt contributes to sea level rise, it may be even more important to work out when society will start to experience the coastal flooding that could displace millions.
And only careful assessment of the scale of glacier loss worldwide – including in Greenland and the Antarctic – could provide planners with the information they need.

Glaciers going

That the glaciers are going is a given. Careful studies over many years suggest that some of Greenland’s glaciers are accelerating on their way to the sea. There have also been alarming losses reported from Bolivia, and even in Canada.
Reports from the high mountains of Asia have been incomplete, but there is enough evidence to suggest that perhaps half of all the ice could be gone in the next 30 years.
Dr Moon says: “The evidence is overwhelming − Earth is losing its ice. Much of this loss is irreversible and the result of human-caused climate change.
“Unless substantial climate response action is taken, and the trend of global temperature rise is reversed, we will continue to see Miami streets swallowed by sea, and glacier freshwater reservoirs melt into mud.
“And we can expect this pattern to continue for decades, centuries, and indeed millennia. As scientists, we must make this reality clear and help to ensure that action is taken to minimise impacts globally.” – Climate News Network

Access our daily story here.

Reacties

Populaire posts van deze blog

Geert Mak Pleit Nu Voor Vriendschap met Rusland

Ik kwam zojuist mijn oude vriend, de bestseller-auteur en mainstream-opiniemaker Geert Mak in de regen op straat tegen. Na elkaar te hebben begroet, vertelde Geert mij dat hij van oordeel is dat Europa zo snel mogelijk met Rusland om de tafel moet gaan zitten, om de opgelopen spanningen te deëscaleren. De VS heeft heel andere belangen dan 'wij,' aldus Mak, die benadrukte dat de macht van 'onze' Atlantische bondgenoot ingrijpend aan het afnemen is. Kortom, ik hoorde wat ikzelf al enige jaren op mijn weblog schrijf. Opvallend hoe een Nederlandse opiniemaker binnen zo'n betrekkelijk korte tijd zo wezenlijk van oordeel kan veranderen.  Immers, Mak’s gevaarlijke anti-Rusland hetze was een treffend voorbeeld van zijn opportunisme. Mei 2014 beweerde op de Hilversumse televisie de zogeheten ‘chroniqueur van Amsterdam, Nederland, Europa en de VS,’ dat er sprake was van een 'Russische gevaar,’ aangezien ‘meneer Poetin’ aan ‘landjepik’ deed en dat de Russische president d…

America Has Been at War 93% of the Time Since 1776

America Has Been at War 93% of the Time – 222 out of 239 Years – Since 1776 By Washington's Blog Global Research, December 26, 2017 Washington's Blog 20 February 2015 Region:  Theme: 

Native American Rape Survivors

A sign marks the entrance to White Earth Indian Reservation in Mahnomen County, Minn. (J. Stephen Conn / CC 2.0) WHITE EARTH RESERVATION, Minn.—Candice (not her real name) awoke with a start. Someone was pulling down her sweatpants. It was a male friend. “Stop!” she shouted. He kept groping her. She kicked him and he fell off the bed. She dashed out of the bedroom, tripping and tumbling down the stairs. Gripped with fear, she heard his footsteps behind her in the dark and forced herself to stand upright as she staggered out to the porch. Candice was still intoxicated. She got into her car and drove into a ditch. A white police officer pulled up. She struggled to hold back tears as she told him about the attempted rape. All the officer saw was a drunk and disorderly Native American woman. He dismissed Candice’s report of sexual assault as a lie she had made up to avoid getting a DUI. He did not take her to the hospital for a forensic exam. The sexual assault was not recorded in his pol…