Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Glaciers going fast

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When the glaciers go, the fight for fresh water will begin in earnest: glaciers act as fresh-water reservoirs, and without  them, the water simply runs off the mountains. Take a look at this photo, running your mouse back and forth across it, to see the contrast between 1921 and today.

The beginning of the post at the link:

Global warming is melting 18,000 Himalayan glaciers — the largest concentration of glaciers outside the great polar ice sheets. If the present melt rate continues, many of these glaciers will be gone by the middle of this century, disrupting the perennial water supply to hundreds of millions of people.

To explore this growing collection of glacier images from the “roof of the world” — including a must-see video made by mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears, Founder and Project Leader of Glacier Research Imaging Project (GRIP) — go to the Asia Society’s “On Thinner Ice” website.

For some of the underlying science, see my November 2008 post, Another climate impact comes faster than predicted: Himalayan glaciers “decapitated.” It discussed an important paper by leading international cryosphere scientists, including American’s own Lonnie Thompson, “Mass loss on Himalayan glacier endangers water resources,” which concluded ominously:

If Naimona’nyi is characteristic of other glaciers in the region, alpine glacier meltwater surpluses are likely to shrink much faster than currently predicted with substantial consequences for approximately half a billion people…

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

21 November 2009 at 10:06 am

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