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Science News


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Source article

Nature News

Published By

Dr. Dick van der Wateren

Tags

Climate Change, Glaciers, Glacier retreat, Mountain glaciers


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Small glaciers gone in 2100

09.01.2011, Age: 2657 days

According to a new study published in Nature Geoscience half of the world's smaller glaciers will disappear during this century.

Nature News:

"The study, in Nature Geoscience, found that half of the world's smallest glaciers, with a surface area less than 5 square kilometres, will disappear entirely, with possible implications for communities dependent on them for water supplies. Overall, the melting of small glaciers and ice caps alone will contribute about 12 centimetres of sea level rise by 2100, based on an average of ten global climate models."

Valentina Radić, a glaciologist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and Regine Hock of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, modelled the effect of warming on small icecaps and mountain glaciers. They confirmed conclusions by the IPCC that small glaciers contribute as much to global sea level rise as melting of the large ice sheets does.

According to their model, the Himalayan glaciers, contrary to IPCC predictions, might escape total disappearance. Some may even grow as a result of increased precipitation.

Radić, V. & Hock, R. Nature Geosci. Advance online publication. doi:10.1038/NGEO1052 (2010).


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