The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: World Could Lose Half of Glaciers This Century Even If Warming Is Kept to 1.5°C
Dear Diary. It has been a while since we focused on the world’s glaciers. Today I spied a new report on them, and as you might imagine, the news is not good. Many across the planet depend on glaciers for drinking water in which reservoirs are filled from melting ice and other essential uses. In a stable climate any melting ice would be replaced by snow keeping the extent of glaciers well…stable. Now we are learning that even at the first threshold of keeping the climate “stable” in which global average temperatures are kept just at +1.5°C above preindustrial conditions, the world could lose half of its glaciers. I have serious doubts that we will keep the planet below this figure looking at trends, by the way.
Here is that new report via Common Dreams:
A melting glacier is seen near Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Ocean in Norway on July 19, 2022.
(Photo: Sebnem Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
World Could Lose Half of Glaciers This Century Even If Warming Is Kept to 1.5°C
“The rapidly increasing glacier mass losses as global temperature increases beyond 1.5°C stresses the urgency of establishing more ambitious climate pledges,” reads a new study.
In a study that scientists say gathered “an unprecedented amount of data” to determine the fate of the world’s ice sheets with more precision than ever before, researchers revealed Thursday that even if humans manage to limit planetary heating to 1.5°C above preindustrial temperatures, half of the planet’s glaciers are expected to melt by 2100.
Under the current trajectory, the planet is expected to grow 2.7°C warmer this century, which the paper, published in Science and led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Alaska, warns will lead to the disappearance of 68% of glaciers.
In that scenario, the U.S., western Canada, and central Europe would lose almost all their glaciers by the end of the century.
“In Spain, the disappearance of the Sierra Nevada glaciers means an almost complete reduction in water availability there from that time onwards, and the same applies to the glaciers in the Pyrenees.”
The scientists, led by David Rounce in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon, examined two decades of satellite data to include all of the world’s roughly 200,000 glaciers in the study. Previous research has focused on specific ice sheets and then extrapolated the data to reach conclusions about all glaciers.
The extensive use of data showed that “the scale and impacts of glacial loss are greater than previously thought,” according toThe Guardian.
The study authors emphasized that policymakers can take action to preserve as many glaciers as possible.
“The rapidly increasing glacier mass losses as global temperature increases beyond 1.5°C stresses the urgency of establishing more ambitious climate pledges to preserve the glaciers in these mountainous regions,” reads the paper.
Even under the best-case scenario outlined by the researchers, average sea levels would increase by 3.5 inches from 2015 to 2100. If the planet warms by 2.7°C, 4.5 inches of sea-level rise is expected—23% more than previous models estimated, The Guardian reported.
“The study makes much of the earlier partial data more concrete,” professor Antonio Ruiz de Elvira of the University of Alcalá in Spain, who was not involved in the research, told The Guardian.
The loss of two-thirds of the world’s glaciers would worsen the risk of flooding in coastal areas across the globe and threaten water supplies for up to two billion people.
“In California, the water needed to sustain agriculture comes from glaciers directly from the end of July,” said Ruiz de Elvira. “In Spain, the disappearance of the Sierra Nevada glaciers means an almost complete reduction in water availability there from that time onwards, and the same applies to the glaciers in the Pyrenees. In India and China, they depend crucially on the Himalayan glaciers.”
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Julia Conley is a staff writer for Common Dreams.
OTHER GLACIER ARTICLES
- Water From Major Greenland Ice Melt Could Fill 7.2 Million Olympic Swimming Pools ›
- ‘Unknown Territory’: Antarctic Glaciers Melting At Rate Unprecedented In 5,500 Years: Study ›
- Melting Glaciers Could Unleash Frozen Viruses That Fuel Future Pandemics: Study ›
Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks, as well as some extreme precipitation reports:
Here is some new 2022 climatology:
Here is more climate and weather news from Friday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
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Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”