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Faster glacier melting raises hunger threat

Climate News Network 5th May 2021, Glacial retreat − the rate at which mountain ice is turning to running
water − has accelerated. In the last two decades, the world’s 220,000
glaciers have lost ice at the rate of 267 billion tonnes a year on average,
and this faster glacier melting could soon imperil downstream food and
water supplies.

To make sense of this almost unimaginable volume, think of
a country the size of Switzerland. And then submerge it six metres deep in
water. And then go on doing that every year for 20 years.

European scientists report in the journal Nature that, on the basis of satellite
data, they assembled a global snapshot of the entire world’s stock of
land-borne ice, excluding Antarctica and Greenland. And then they began to
measure the impact of global heating driven by profligate fossil fuel use
on the lofty, frozen beauty of the Alps, the Hindu Kush, the Andes, the
Himalayas and the mountains of Alaska.

They found not just loss, but a loss
that was accelerating sharply. Between 2000 and 2004, the glaciers together
surrendered 227 billion tons of ice a year on average. By 2015 to 2019, the
annual loss had risen to 298 billion tonnes. The run-off from the
retreating glaciers alone caused more than one-fifth of observed sea level
rise this century.

May 6, 2021 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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