October 23, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Global Warming | The glaciers of the Pyrenees are rapidly melting

Global Warming |  The glaciers of the Pyrenees are rapidly melting

(Madrid) As the ice mass decline in the Pyrenees continues to decline, the southern glaciers in Europe are likely to shrink into ice patches over the next two decades due to climate change. , According to a new study by Spanish scientists.


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Associated Press

The Pyrenees, which mark the natural border between Spain and France, have had three glaciers disappear or shrink into stagnant ice bands since 2011. Of the remaining two dozen, 17 icebergs averaged 6.3 meters thick.

According to a study published last week in the Journal of Geophysical Research Letters, their mass has dropped by an average of one-fifth or 23% in almost a decade. His findings were announced to the media on Friday.

Spanish scientists have blamed climate change for the decline, especially in the Pyrenees, where temperatures have risen 1.5 degrees Celsius from 19.E Century.

“What we see here is an early warning of what is going to happen in other mountains, such as the Alps,” said Jess Rivelto, one of the study’s authors.

Geologist Ixia Wideller, another author of the study, said that the loss of ice mass to the Pyrenean landscape was also a “tragedy” and that the impact on biodiversity had not yet been determined.

The researchers work for the Pyrenees Institute of Ecology, or IPE, Spain’s leading public scientific research body, for CSIC. They compared high-resolution satellite images and scenes obtained from research materials in 2011 with data obtained during field visits and 3D models of mountain peaks to map the evolution of ice mass. Produced using drones last summer.

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Scientists have found that some parts of the fastest melting glaciers lose up to 20 meters of ice. The depletion of the four largest of these is much more stable than the smallest compared to the one studied, because in many cases the ice has already gone back into the shadow of cracks that have been eroded for centuries.

Compared to other existing studies on ice damage in the past, research by PEI has found that the annual rate of ice mass loss has not slowed down since the 1980s.

“We can say for sure that the Pyrenean glaciers are in serious danger and will disappear in about two decades or become residual ice patches,” the scientists wrote.

A recent scientific report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that climate change is an “unquestionable” human responsibility and a “given fact”.

The IPCC report also predicts that temperatures will exceed the level of warming that world leaders have tried to prevent in a decade.

Sharing the Mediterranean Basin, southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, UN experts have identified it as a “climate change hot spot”, with the devastating effects of heat waves, water scarcity and loss of biodiversity, among other consequences.