Alpine glaciers could disappear completely by the end of the century
A study conducted by zespół Swiss researchersów provided the most up-to-date estimates ofóin regarding the future of all alpine glaciersów, and there are about 4,000 of them in total. According to him, regardless of whether we can reduce the emission of gasóin greenhouse or not, by 2050 only half of the Alpine glaciers will remainów. But if emissions are not curbed, the loss of glaciersów could be much higher.
In the study, whichóre appeared in the pages of the magazine „The Cryosphere”, Scientists have looked at the future of the Alps and their glaciersów. Harry Zekollari, a climatologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and his team of researchers simulated the evolution of nearly 4,000 individual glaciers in theóin the European Alps. The results of these studies are not optimistic.
Glaciers are an important part of the region’s ecosystem, landscape and economy. Attract touristsóin the chainóin góries and act as natural reservoirsóin fresh water. Glaciers are a source ofóA source of water for wildlife, as well as for agriculture and hydropower plants, which is particularlyólnie important in periods of drought.
The researchers used new climate models thatóre linking ice flow and melting processes. They have benefited róAlso from observational data to examine how each of the glaciersów will change in the future. They used 2017 as a starting point, when alpine glaciers had a total volume of about 100 kilometersóin cubic. In doing so, they analyzed the róThe different scenarios of global warming, whichóre were presented by the Intergovernmental Teamół ds. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In a limited warming scenario, emissions of gasów of greenhouse gases would have to peak in the next few years and then decline sharply to keep the level of temperature increase at the end of the century below 2 degrees Celsius. Celsius in porówn comparison to pre-industrial temperatures. In this case, the alpine glaciers would be reduced to about 37 kilometersóin cubic meters by 2100, or just over a third of their current volume would remain.
In the most pessimistic scenario, in which theóhe global average temperature would rise by 4.8 degrees Celsius, he said. Celsius, about 95 percent of the. Alpine glaciersów by the end of the century. Current global emissions are greater than considered in the worst-case scenario.
– In the pessimistic case, the Alps will be mostly ice-free by 2100, with only isolated patches of ice remaining at high altitudes, accounting for 5 percent of the. or less of today’s ice volume,” said Matthias Huss, a coóroutor of the publication.
The researchers found that the loss of glaciersów ill have a major impact on the availability of water for agriculture and hydropower plants, especially during droughts. It will also have an impact on nature, and therefore on tourism as well. As the authors of the publication found, the melting of glaciersóin the European Alps is one of the clearest indicators of theóin climate change.
A similar study on glaciers was presented in Februaryóin high chains of góric in Asia. According to them, one-third of the glaciers thereów is doomed to extinction due to climate change. This will have serious implications for nearly 2 billionóin people in living near rivers, które are supplied with water by glaciers. But these are projections for the most optimistic climate change scenario; in the case of the worst one, two-thirds of there glaciers will melt by the end of the centuryów.
– The future evolution of glaciersów will strongly depend on how the climate evolves. With more limited warming, much more of the glaciers could be savedów – said Zekollari.