There are 46 natural World Heritage sites in which we can find glaciers at this moment. They include some of the most iconic glaciers, such as the Grosser Aletschgletscher (Switzerland), Khumbu Glacier (Himalayas) and Jakobshavn Isbrae (Greenland). IUCN scientists now published a new study, analysing the current states and future trends. The results are alarming.
Please also read: Austrias biggest glacier is rapidly disappearing: the Pasterze
Predicting the year 2100
IUCN scientists combined data from global glacier inventories, reviewing existing literature, and modelling to predict the glacier trends. The study shows that by 2100 at least 21 of the 46 World Heritage glaciers are gone. In the most conservative scenario, still eight glaciers disappear by 2100. The results indicate that 33 to 60 percent of the glacial volume will disappear, compared to 2017.
Not only would the glacial disappearance endanger the World Heritage listing. Especially the regulatory effect on climate would change dramatically. If we are to protect our environment and preserve the glaciers, action is needed. Especially, a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emission plays a key role. Both individual and collection measures can make this happen, according to the scientific advisors from IUCN.