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Scientists Warn that Climate Change May Affect Earth’s Long-Term Water Supply

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

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Climate Change
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.

Climate Change
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.

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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)

Next Story

Bollywood Actress Bhumi Pednekar Urges People To Avoid Single Use Of Plastics

She had shared a few pictures along with the post, which show her cleaning up plastics and garbage at a Mumbai beach

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Bhumi
The actress, who is also a climate change warrior, keeps writing against single use of plastics on social media. Wikimedia Commons

Bollywood actress Bhumi Pednekar wants everyone to avoid single use of plastics. A climate change warrior, Bhumi took to Instagram to spread the word.

She shared a photo that shows her on Monday morning, sipping a shake from a glass bottle with a reusable straw. The actress captioned: “Everyday is a new day And life is all about those baby steps. Am trying to use no #SingleUsePlastic, you should too, Together we can make this world better #HappyMonday #ReusableStraws #goodmorning #hello”.

The actress, who is also a climate change warrior, keeps writing against single use of plastics on social media.

In an Instagram post earlier this month, Bhumi shared shocking figures to reveal the quantity of plastic waste in India, and urged everyone to use recycled plastic.

bhumi
Bollywood actress Bhumi Pednekar wants everyone to avoid single use of plastics. A climate change warrior, Bhumi took to Instagram to spread the word. IANS

“It’s our mess to clean #happynewyear. India generates 25940 tonnes of plastic waste everyday,of 10376 tonnes is uncollected plastic. Start segregating your garbage at home. Make sure you recycle plastic. We have to co exist with nature #circulareconomy #climatechange #plasticpollution #garbagesegregation,” she wrote.

She had shared a few pictures along with the post, which show her cleaning up plastics and garbage at a Mumbai beach.

ALSO READ: “I Want To Explore More Genres As An Actor”, Says Actress Kriti Sanon

Bhumi has also been vocal about the devastating bushfire in South Australia. (IANS)