Prelims level : Environment Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News

  • Researchers plotted glaciers at U.N. designated sites and used data modelling to predict ice loss.


  • Glaciers are set to vanish from almost half of U.N.- designated World Heritage sites in less than a century if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut, according to research published in the journal Earth’s Future. Sites likely to be affected include the Grosser Aletschgletscher in the Swiss Alps and Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbrae, researchers said in a study

Wake-up call

  • The data should act as a wake-up call for nations to step up their commitments to prevent climate change, said the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which collaborated with the University of Fribourg
  • “Losing these iconic glaciers would be a tragedy and have major consequences for the availability of water resources, sea level rise and weather patterns,”
  • Climate change is becoming one of the most significant risks for World Heritage sites, according to a report released by the United Nations cultural body, UNESCO, in 2016.
  • Researchers used data modelling to predict ice loss based on how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases the world emits between now and 2100
  • Nearly half the World Heritage sites — 21 out of a total of 46 that have glaciers — will lose all their ice by 2100 under a high emissions scenario
  • eight of the sites will be ice-free by the start of the next century,

Falling volume

  • The research found significant melting is expected in all scenarios, with between 33% and 60% of the total ice volume in 2017 lost by 2100.

Global Warming

  • Global Warming is the increase in Earth’s mean surface temperature because of the effect of greenhouse gases. These gases absorb long wave radiations and warm the atmosphere, and this process is called as Greenhouse effect.
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