Fast pace at which glaciers are melting could lead to food and water shortages
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Fast pace at which glaciers are melting could lead to food and water shortages

Credit: Belga

Nearly all the world’s glaciers are melting at an ever-increasing rate, which experts fear will soon lead to critical food and water shortages.

Looking at the melting rate of over 220,000 glaciers, an international research team led by a Swiss university (ETH Zurich), found they, lost an average of 267 billion tonnes of their weight per year between 2000 and 2019.

“The situation in the Himalayas is particularly worrying. If the glaciers melt even faster, people in countries like India and Bangladesh could face water or food shortages within a few decades,” said a researcher at ETH Zurich and the University of Toulouse.

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“The world really needs to act now to prevent the worst scenario of climate change,” stressed one of the researchers.

Other glaciers which are melting the fastest were found in Alaska, the Pamir Mountains, the Hindu Kush Iceland, and the Alps.

However, researchers also found that the rate of melting has slowed in some areas, including in Greenland, Iceland, and Scandinavia as a result of a meteorological anomaly in the North Atlantic that caused lower temperatures between 2000 and 2019.

Researchers analysed satellite data of the glaciers for 18 months using a supercomputer, and their findings will be included in the next assessment report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to be published this year.

The Brussels Times