Researchers of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have published a study showing that almost half of the natural world heritage sites with glaciers could become completely ice free by 2100 if the global emission of pollutants continues at the present rate.
According to the forecast, if high-level emissions are maintained, 21 of the 46 natural world heritage sites with glaciers could lose all their ice by the end of the century, while if emissions are reduced, that number would drop to 8.
said Peter Shadie, the director of the IUCN World Heritage Programme, adding that such unprecedented decline would also jeopardise the classification of those areas as world heritage sites.
The specialist emphasised that “States must reinforce their commitments to combat climate change and step up efforts to preserve these glaciers for future generations.”
The authors say that the sites involved are home to some of the world’s best-known glaciers, such as the Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland, the Khumbu Glacier in the Himalayas and Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier.
“Ice is the canary in the global coal mine. It’s the place where we can see and touch and hear and feel climate change in action.” Internationally recognised nature photographer James Balog believes it is extremely important to pay attention to the processes underway in the polar regions.
Rising sea levels caused by climate change and global warming are an increasing threat to the Netherlands, so the Dutch have started using an innovative device, a storm surge barrier to protect against them. The world’s largest storm surge barrier was built in the south of the country, at Maeslantkering.
The melting of glaciers has broken new records in Switzerland this year; they lost two percent of their ice mass this summer, while over the last five years, they have lost 10 percent of their volume altogether, which is unprecedented in the existing records spanning over 100 years.
The typhoon raging in Japan has claimed more than fifty lives; the number of injured has exceeded two hundred.
As a result of climate change, humanity is expected to face growing numbers of destructive storms in the future.
The rising sea levels and melting permafrost caused by climate change are causing crisis situations in a number of places around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of people having to leave their homes, while important agricultural areas also fall victim to the changes.
Climate change is causing severe problems in Antarctica, too: recently, a piece of ice weighing 315 billion tonnes broke off the area, while scientists investigating satellite images covering an area of 5 million square kilometres found tens of thousands of meltwater lakes, which indicates severe problems.
Massive snowstorms hit a number of north-western and northern states of the USA on 29 September.
Monsoon rain accompanied by storms and lightning hit the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India on 27 September. Tempestuous winds toppled trees and utility poles and tore off roofs, killing more than a hundred people.
On 24 September, the Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountain Foundation) issued an avalanche warning on the Planpincieux Glacier, which is located on the eastern slope of the Grandes Jorasses peak.