Azara Blog: Mountain glaciers disappearing

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Date published: 2007/01/29

The BBC says:

Mountain glaciers are shrinking three times faster than they were in the 1980s, scientists have announced.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, which continuously studies a sample of 30 glaciers around the world, says the acceleration is down to climate change.
...
The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), based in Switzerland, continuously studies a set of 30 mountain glaciers in different parts of the world. It is not quite a representative sample of all mountain glaciers, but does give a reliable indication of global trends.

The latest survey, just released, shows accelerating decline. During 2005, this sample of 30 glaciers became, on average, 60-70cm thinner.

This figure is 1.6 times more than the average annual loss during the 1990s, and three times faster than in the 1980s.

With mountain glaciers typically only tens of metres thick, this meant, said WGMS director Wilfried Haeberli, that many would disappear on a timescale of decades if the trend continued.

Nothing that surprising here. But the quantification is worthwhile, although it might well be too late to do much about this.

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