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Menopausal Mother Nature

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Half of world’s glaciers will vanish by year 2100 due to global … – UPI News

Jan. 6 (UPI) — Half of the world’s glaciers will melt and disappear before the turn of the next century, according to alarming new research that predicts greater fallout from global warming despite meaningful efforts in recent years to address environmental concerns.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, projects that nearly 50% of the Earth’s natural ice will dissolve by the year 2100, which is much quicker than scientists previously calculated if the planet warmed by only 1.5C — a benchmark set by hundreds of nations to cut emissions and protect more land for nature and the environment.

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At the current 2.7C rate of warming, however, the melting would become more calamitous, with 68% of the world’s glaciers thawing, the study says, adding that ice would almost completely vanish from central Europe, western Canada and the United States over the next 200 years.

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The world’s oceans would rise dramatically under such a scenario and lead to flooding and other major disasters around the world, according to the study, which analyzed glacial land ice but excluded Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets.

Average sea levels would rise by more than 3 inches over the next 75 years if warming levels are maintained at 1.5C; but could potentially reach almost 5 inches if warming continues at the current rate of 2.7C.

The two calculations surprised scientists because the numbers came back about 23% higher than their previous projections.

Glacier ice melt accounts for more than one-third of the rise in sea levels, scientists say. Melting occurs naturally, but the climate crisis and increased temperatures have sped up the decline.

“The rapidly increasing glacier mass losses as global temperature increases beyond 1.5C stresses the urgency of establishing more ambitious climate pledges to preserve the glaciers in these mountainous regions,” researchers said in the study, which used 20 years of satellite data and other updated methods to pinpoint and track 200,000 glaciers around the globe.

“This is the first time we have isolated the number of glaciers that will be lost — before it was the total mass loss,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. David Rounce, a civil and environmental engineer from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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The most vulnerable glaciers are relatively small, but they are a vital freshwater resource for millions worldwide.

“When we think about the locations where most people see and visit glaciers, it’s really in locations where they’re accessible, like in central Europe, or in high mountain Asia. In these regions there are a lot of smaller glaciers. They’re really at the core of the societies and economies of those locations,” Rounce said.

The impact of melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica on the world’s oceans is well documented. But the largest contributors to sea-level rise in the 20th century were melting ice caps and glaciers located in seven other regions: Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Southern Andes, High Mountain Asia, the Russian Arctic, Iceland and the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard. The five Arctic regions have accounted for the greatest share of ice loss in recent years.

The latest study on Glacier melt comes amid increasing efforts to mitigate climate concerns, however, progress has been slow to take shape as no governing body has any real power to enforce the Paris Climate Agreement — an accord that was adopted by the international community in 2015.

More recently, nearly 200 countries reached a landmark agreement at the COP15 biodiversity summit last month that seeks to protect nature, endangered species and other critical resources for the next decade.

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The newly approved Global Biodiversity Framework sets a path for each country, by 2030, to designate 30% of land that would remain undeveloped in an effort to support nature and the environment.

If fully implemented, the plan would hold major implications for farming, business supply chains and Indigenous populations around the world as countries step up efforts to safeguard the environment.

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