Not much time is left for the world’s glaciers, according to the U.N. Environment Program. After measuring glaciers, scientists found they lost mass at record rates in 2006 (4.9 feet on average), and some may disappear completely within 10 years.
“The latest figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight,” said Wilfried Haeberli, director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service.
This will not only affect areas abroad, such as Norway’s Breidalblikkbrea glacier, which lost 10.2 feet last year, but also areas in the western United States. The Rockies and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges contain glaciers that provide much of the water supply to the west coast. Once the glaciers are gone, they won’t be reappearing.
The UNEP is asking world governments to implement tighter emissions reduction policies as a step to stop this rapid glacial decline. Just since 2000, average loss has increased by 20 inches. This needs to be a clue that global warming cannot be denied any longer.