The Mount Kilimanjaro ice cap is among the world-famous glaciers set to disappear by 2050 due to the global warning, according to a UNESCO report.
The United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, monitors around 18,600 glaciers at 50 of its World Heritage Sites.
In a new report, it says a third of these glaciers are set to disappear over the next three decades – including those in the Dolomites in Italy and Yosemite and Yellowstone parks in the United States – regardless of the scenario of rising temperatures. temperature.
UNESCO predicts around 50% of World Heritage glaciers could almost entirely disappear by 2100 – while some could be preserved by keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C (2.7F).
World Heritage glaciers, as defined by UNESCO, represent approximately 10% of all glacier areas in the world.
They include some of the world’s best-known glaciers, which are gradually melting in plain sight as they are focal points for global tourism.
The report’s lead author, Tales Carvalho, said World Heritage glaciers lose about 58 billion tonnes of ice each year on average.
This is equivalent to the total annual volume of water used in France and Spain together – and contributes nearly 5% of observed global sea level rise.
Mr Carvalho added that the most important protective measure to prevent the major retreat of glaciers around the world would be to drastically reduce carbon emissions.
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UNESCO encourages local authorities to put glaciers at the center of their policies by improving monitoring and research, as well as implementing disaster risk reduction measures, given the inevitable further decline in the number of these glaciers in the near future.
“As glacial lakes fill, they can burst and cause catastrophic flooding downstream,” Carvalho said.
The report comes on the eve of the COP27 event in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, hailed as the first UN climate conference in Africa in six years.
In August, a study revealed that Switzerland’s 1,400 glaciers have lost half of their total volume in less than a century and the retreat of the ice is accelerating.
The researchers found that ice volumes had halved in the 85 years from 1931 to 2016, and since 2016 they had lost another 12%.