Today I would like to discuss the fate of glaciers. Scientific research and satellite maps all prove that most of glaciers are melting away faster than predicted.
So high, so far away….and yet so present in the daily life of humanity. Glaciers essentially sustain the lives of half of the world’s population, which depends on them for its water supply. Crowning mountaintops, these immense blocks of ice retain water and release it through melting during periods of warmth and dryness. They supply rivers with water during the entire year.
Picture: Mt. Kilimanjaro Glaciers Retreat at Peak
The melting of glaciers on a large scale is one of the most visible signs of planetary climate change. The celebrated “eternal snows” of Kilimanjaro will have surely disappeared before 2020. Their surface has already shrunk by 80%.
Along the mountainsides, streams that only recently were replenished by melting snow are now dry from September to March. River communities no longer have sufficient amounts of water for domestic or agricultural use. In some villages of the region, fighting breaks out over water, pastures, and arable land.
Mt. Kilimanjaro Glacier Retreat
Watch this video: Effects of Global Warming (NASA)
Picture: Khumbu Glacier, Mt. Everest melting faster than predicted
Glaciers are melting faster than scientists predicted. In Asia, many glaciers in the Himalayas could disappear during the course of this century if climate change isn’t stopped. Riverbeds as large as the Ganges, Mekong, and Yangtze could completely dry up during the dry season.
Watch this video: Melting of Himalayas Glaciers
Greenland is a region covered by a layer of ice called an ice cap. This ice cap is extremely thick and heavy and moves slowly from the center of the region toward the sea. At the coast, it breaks into pieces, creating icebergs. Icebergs are miniscule compared to the ice cap that formed them, but to us, they are immense.
Greenland’s icebergs are increasing in number. Why? Because today, some of Greenland’s largest glaciers are melting 3 times faster than they were 10 years ago. And the melting ice acts like a moving walkway, which destabilizes the ice cap and accelerates its descent toward the sea. This spectacular melting is one of the most obvious signs of present-day climate change.
Greenland Glaciers Melting
Glaciers in Peril