Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Glaciers melting at rapid level

Glaciers are melting at rapid level and the words "The latest figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight" spoken by Prof. Dr. Wilfried Haeberli, Director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) should be treated as the serious warning.

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced on March 16th, 2008 (based on the WGMS results) that the world glaciers are continuing its melting with the latest official figures showing record losses. Data from close to 30 reference glaciers in nine mountain ranges indicate that between the years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 the average rate of melting and thinning more than doubled. During 1980-1999, average loss rates had been 0.3 metres per year. Since the year 2000, this rate had increased to about half a metre per year.

This is of course the result of increased Earth's temperature caused by global warming and higher average temperatures, and areas covered with glaciers are the most sensible ones to warmer temperatures. Not only that this increases already high sea level, but it also destroys our natural water storage facilities. Climate change is already showing its face and if we fail to prevent glaciers melting climate change will turn from currently serious problem into real future catastrophe.

The only solution is to reduce emissions caused by fossil fuels such as coal. However world demand for energy is constantly growing so the only possible solution is to invest more in renewable energy sector and ecologically acceptable renewable energy sources. At current pace renewable energy sector will need many years to become fully competitive with dominant fossil fuels. Can glaciers wait that long?

Glaciers melting at rapid level

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