Glacier ice loss at record levels

Geoffrey Lean,Environment Editor
Sunday 16 March 2008 01:00
Comments
UNEP warned that further ice loss could have dramatic consequences, particularly in India
UNEP warned that further ice loss could have dramatic consequences, particularly in India

Glaciers are shrinking at record rates and many could disappear within decades, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said yesterday. Scientists measuring 30 glaciers around the world found ice loss reached record levels in 2006, the most recent year for which data are available.

The most severe loss was recorded at Norway's Breidalblikkbrea glacier, which shrank 3.1m (10.2ft). On average, glaciers shrank by 1.5m. "The figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight," said Wilfried Haeberli, director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service, which conducted the study.

Professor Haeberli said that between 1980 and 1999 glaciers lost an average of 0.3m of ice a year. But since 2000 the average loss has increased to about 0.5m.

UNEP warned that further ice loss could have dramatic consequences, particularly in India, whose rivers are fed by Himalayan glaciers, and the US west coast, which gets water from glaciers in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada.

UNEP's director, Achim Steiner, urged governments to agree stricter targets for emissions reductions.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in