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Climate Change is causing temperatures to rise in Earth's frozen zones, leading to a rapid melting on vital peaks. Pixabay

Experts warn that climate change is speeding up melting on Earth’s frozen peaks, threatening the planet’s long-term water supply.

The more than 150 global mountain experts attending the first High Mountain Summit warn time is running out for the world’s glaciers. They say climate change is causing temperatures to rise in Earth’s frozen zones, leading to a rapid melting on vital peaks.

For example, scientists say Swiss glaciers have lost 10 percent of their volume in the past five years. The disappearance of hundreds of small glaciers in the Alps was dramatized when hundreds of mourners recently attended what was dubbed a “funeral” to mark the loss of Switzerland’s Pizol glacier.

The World Meteorological Organization reports international observers show an acceleration in the retreat of 31 major glaciers in the past two decades. They include mountains in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush regions and Tibetan Plateau in Asia.

Summit co-chair, Canadian John Pomeroy, a water resources and climate change expert, said the loss of water resources in mountain ranges around the world is devastating the communities in those areas. He said it also is destabilizing vast populations downstream.

“Around half of humanity relies upon water and rivers that originate in the high mountains. And, so this is used for irrigation. It is used for power production, hydroelectricity. It is used for our urban and community water supplies and it provides essential water for ecosystems from the mountaintop down to the sea.”

Pomeroy added the rapidly melting mountain glaciers are contributing to rising sea levels. He notes cities along the ocean such as Miami, Venice and Jakarta already are in big trouble.

After Climate Change, This combination of Sept. 14, 1986, left, and Aug. 1, 2019 photos provided by NASA shows the shrinking of the Okjokull glacier on the Ok volcano in west-central Iceland. A geological map from 1901 estimated Okjökull spanned an area of about 38 square kilometers (15 square miles). In 1978, aerial photography showed the glacier was 3 square kilometers. in 2019, less than 1 square kilometer remains. VOA

“For the high mountain communities or valleys in north India, Pakistan, central Asia, their irrigation is the only source of water for agriculture that is currently provided by ice melt from glaciers,” Pomeroy said. “And the glaciers are retreating … In the Western U.S., 90 percent of the water supplies are from the high mountains and they drive the economy.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which measures the impact of global warming, predicts snow cover, glaciers and permafrost will continue to decline in almost all regions throughout this century.

ALSO READ: Chinese Economy in a Big Struggle: Report

The summit is calling for urgent action to support more sustainable development in both high-mountain areas and downstream. That will involve disaster risk reduction measures, better early warning systems, climate change adaptation and investment in infrastructure to make communities safer. (VOA)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.