Experts are now predicting that the glaciers in the Alps are retreating at such a pace, that they may be gone altogether by 2050. According to this article over at NationalGeographic.com, about 3 percent of glacial ice is lost each year, and the retreating glaciers mean less drinking water, more unstable rock conditions, and would probably spell doom for the ski industry in the mountains.
It’s not just the Alps however, as reports from around the globe, including the Andes, Himalaya, and Kilimanjaro. The ice is retreating from all of those locations, and it could have a devistating impact on the envrionments in all those locations. Global warming is of course the cause, with green house gases becoming thicker in the atmosphere. At this rate, we may see most of the major glaciers in the World almost completely gone in our lifetimes.
The article does note that a similar retreating of the glaciers occurred within the last 10,000 years. It’s pretty evident that we’re going through a phase of global warming. You’d be hard pressed to find any way to deny that. But the extend of which man is playing a role is still fairly debatable in my opinion. The Earth goes through these cycles regularly, at least in geological terms, and if this has happened in the last 10,000 years, then it’s fairly recent. But the rate at which these glaciers are melting seems fairly unsual for something completely natural. It’s sad that we could be losing these resources in such a short period of time.
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