Published online by the journal Nature Geoscience, a study of more than 300 glaciers over a 40-year period by geophysicists at the University of Alaska in the USA has led to their forecast that mountain glaciers will shrink on average up to 27% by century's end.
Some glacial regions such as in New Zealand could lose up to 79% of their volume, while the European Alps could be diminished by an alarming 90%. The loss of these and other glacial areas across the globe would be devastating to the hundreds of millions, even billions of people, who depend on them for fresh water.
In a second study, the same researchers showed through simulation that even if all carbon dioxide emissions were halted, the warming effect of atmospheric CO2 would continue for centuries, raising global temperatures beyond an already-dangerous 3.4 degrees Celsius increase.
The resulting warming of seas such as the Southern Ocean could also trigger widespread collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which in turn would raise sea levels by an estimated 5 to 7 meters, with obviously devastating effects.
Our appreciation University of Alaska scientists for these findings that remind us of our precarious situation due to global warming. Let us work to cool the atmosphere and preserve the Earth's vital ice caps for the survival of all lives on the planet.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has often spoken about the troubled state of the glaciers and the key to stopping their disappearance as during a November 2009 videoconference in Washington, DC, USA.