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New model predicts significant Everest ice loss

New model predicts significant...
The researchers' new model predicts a bleak future for the region's glaciers
The researchers' new model predicts a bleak future for the region's glaciers
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The researchers' new model predicts a bleak future for the region's glaciers
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The researchers' new model predicts a bleak future for the region's glaciers

A team of researchers from France, Nepal and the Netherlands has worked to produce a new model to predict the future changes in glaciers in the Everest region of the Himalayas. While the study, which was conducted by the European Geosciences Union (EGU), only represents an initial approximation of ice loss in the region, the model suggests that dramatic changes may be ahead.

The findings of the study suggest that, in light of the continued increase in temperature caused by the ongoing rise of greenhouse gas emissions, it's likely glaciers in the region in question will experience sustained or even accelerated ice loss in the coming decades.

To conduct the study, the team started by making field observations and taking data from local weather stations, using readings spanning the last 50 years to calibrate and test a glacial change model. Following this, numerous different temperature and precipitation scenarios were applied to the model to track how the ice might respond in the future.

The results paint a bleak picture of the Himalayan glaciers' future, predicting a reduction in volume between 70 and 99 percent by the year 2100. The results are dependent on an assumed rise in greenhouse gas emissions, and how that effects rainfall, snowfall and temperature in the region.

According to the model, the increased temperature will lead to a lower freezing level – the altitude at which mean monthly temperatures are 0 ºC (32 ºF) – from between 5,500 and 3,200 m (18,000 and 10,500 ft) to just 800-1,200 m (2,600 - 4,000 ft). This will leave around 90 percent of the current glacier area susceptible to melting in warmer months, with much of what is now snowfall being replaced by rain.

The Himalayan glaciers are home to the highest volume of ice outside polar regions, meaning that its loss will have some serious knock-on effects. Changes in the volume of ice will have an impact on the availability of water, with initially increased waterflow, followed by significantly less as the glaciers shrink. In the long term, this will adversely effect agricultural activities in the region, as well as hydropower generation efforts.

Once again, the team urges that the findings are merely the first approximation of how the glaciers will react to increasing temperatures. However, it's confident in the data, stating in the research paper that "the signal of future glacier change in the region is clear and compelling."

The results of the study were published in the journal The Cryosphere.

Source: EGU

11 comments
christopher
Here's an idea: don't bother, because there's *nothing* anyone can do about it.
Tony Morris
Christopher. Your argument is well researched and quite compelling.
watersworm
shoud / maybe/ predict/ models etc Nintendo science for the taste of alarming.
Phillip Noe
Even here we have climate change deniers posting comments. Human-caused climate change is a fact despite the fossil fuel industry's efforts to confuse and mislead the public. Best we work to reduce emissions or we'll force those that come after us to suffer from our neglect and greed. Learn more at these sites. Google search... NASA Climate Change Consensus Google search... AAAS Climate Change What We Know
Richalone442
Bad Data in, bad data out, when will these people realize their models are all wrong. We have no idea how much snow those mountains will receive. There's no such thing as global warming, and the climate changes all the time, humans have nothing to do with it, the ultimate culprit is in the sky around 93 million miles away, it has always controlled our weather, and always will.
Robert in Vancouver
Climate modeling has proven to be unreliable and wrong. Problem is that the software is made with the goal of proving there is global warming.
So no mater what data you feed in, you will get dire predictions of global warming disasters.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
The freezing levels are REVERSED in this article! 95 % of the greenhouse effect on Earth is due to water. All but a trace of the remaining 5% is split between CO2 and methane. Thermal emission from the Earth is almost all from the equatorial deserts. A small change in path length water in these areas will cause a large change in thermal emittance. This can be seen in areas like Phoenix where there is a lot of artificial transpiration.
Kevin Ritchey
Unlike many uneducated conservative lap dogs, reality is something that must be faced. Change is always happening of course. We do not live in a static state. But humans are negatively affecting our Earthly environment and as humans we can make changes that can assist in altering the direction that nature inevitably takes. It is a not too subtle change that ignorance of facts only exuberates. Climate change is an elastic and pliable thing that we can improve upon just as well as denigrate. The choice is ours to make and we shouldn't allow financial gain by a select few take away our only place to live.
Koolski
Here's a climate change statistic I have formulated -- the consensus of climate change researchers seeking climate change research grants is that there is climate change.
ripshin
It's ironic that the multitude of private citizens with absolutely no financial incentive whatsoever, but who question the science behind mainstream climate change prognosticators, are derided as deniers and lap-dogs and etc, while "researchers" chasing grant money handed out for any and all things "climate change" are regarded as pure and unassailable.
A couple points that are reasonable and deserve thought. One, my understanding is that much of the mountainous glacier retreat is due to land-use change, specifically deforestation, which causes a change in the local water cycle. Thus, mountainous ice retreats due to a lack of replenishment from air moisture, not due to warming temperatures. (In all fairness, this may have been specific to a specific range / peak, rather than universal, but it still bears considering.) Second, as has been pointed out already, the models used for climate projection have been found, repeatedly, to be statistically insignificant. Non-relevant. So, it seems non-credible to point to one as a primary source.
rip