World Heritage glaciers to disappear by 2050 : UNESCO
According to new UNESCO data, by 2050, one-third of the World's Heritage Sites of Glaciers will disappear.
Key points of the UNESCO report
The report highlights the accelerated melting of glaciers regardless of efforts to limit temperature rise.
The report says that it is still possible to save the other two thirds of glaciers, if the rise in global temperatures does not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial period.
The study, conducted by UNESCO in partnership with the IUCN, shows that these glaciers have been shrinking at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions and higher temperatures.
Each year, glaciers are currently losing 58 billion tons of ice.
This is equivalent to the combined annual water use of France and Spain and is responsible for about 5% of the global sea-level rise.
Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emission
The study suggests that the only effective solution to this environmental threat is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as quickly as possible.
The report calls for a rapid reduction in CO2 emissions to save the glaciers and the biodiversity it supports.
In addition to reducing carbon emissions, UNESCO also advocated the creation of an international fund for glacier monitoring and conservation.
Some of the endangered glaciers
Kilimanjaro National Park and Mount Kenya (Africa)
Glaciers in Western Tien-Shan (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan) that have shrunk by 27% since 2000
The Dolomites (Italy) (Europe),
Yellowstone National Park (North America).
Importance of Glaciers
Glaciers are important for survival. Half of humanity is directly or indirectly dependent on glaciers as a water source for domestic use, agriculture and electricity.
Glaciers are also supporters of biodiversity, which keeps many ecosystems alive.
Due to the melting of glaciers, people will have to face other challenges including water scarcity, increasing number of disasters, and loss of biodiversity.
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