Yellowstone, Kilimanjaro glaciers among those set to vanish by 2050: UNESCO

Yellowstone, Kilimanjaro glaciers among those set to vanish by 2050: UNESCO

PARIS: Glaciers at many UNESCO World Heritage sites including Yellowstone and Kilimanjaro National Park will likely vanish by 2050, the United Nations agency warned on Thursday (Nov 3), urging leaders to act fast to save the rest.

The warning followed a study of 18,600 glaciers at 50 World Heritage sites – covering around 66,000 sq km – which found glaciers at a third of the sites were “condemned to disappear”.

The study “shows these glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures”, UNESCO said.

The glaciers were losing 58 billion tonnes of ice every year, equivalent to the combined annual water use of France and Spain, and were responsible for nearly 5 per cent of observed global sea-level rise, the agency explained.

“Glaciers in a third of the 50 World Heritage sites are condemned to disappear by 2050, regardless of efforts to limit temperature increases,” UNESCO said.

“But it is still possible to save the glaciers in the remaining two thirds of sites, if the rise in temperatures does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial period.”

 

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