Quantcast
Connect with us

Biggest Alpine glacier could disappear by 2100: study

Published

on

The mighty Aletsch — the largest glacier in the Alps — could completely disappear by the end of this century if nothing is done to rein in climate change, a study showed Thursday.

A team of researchers in Switzerland has used a cutting-edge simulation to show how the Aletsch Glacier will change as the planet continues to warm, the ETH technical university in Zurich said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

The glacier, which covers 86 square kilometers (33 square miles) in the Swiss Alps, and is estimated to hold around 11 billion tonnes of ice, has already seen its tongue recede by about one kilometer (0.6 miles) since the turn of the century.

Scientists are predicting that trend will continue even if the world is able to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement target of capping global warming at “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.

The ETH research team said that even in the best case scenario the glacier would lose 50 percent of its volume and length by year 2100, while in the worst-case scenario, “a couple patches of ice will be all that?s left.”

Aletsch is one of more than 4,000 glaciers — vast, ancient reserves of ice — dotted throughout the Alps, providing seasonal water to millions and forming some of Europe’s most stunning landscapes.

In a study earlier this year, ETH researchers determined that more than 90 percent of those glaciers will disappear by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are left unchecked.

ADVERTISEMENT

Thursday’s study meanwhile focused specifically on the impact on the biggest glacier of them all.

– ‘Much more critical’ –

Guillaume Jouvet and Matthias Huss at ETH’s Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology applied 3D glacier model simulations for the ice retreat using different established climate scenarios for Switzerland.

ADVERTISEMENT

They show the glacier seen from the Eggishorn and Jungfraujoch peaks, which tower 2,927 and 3,466 meters above sea level, as it rapidly recedes over the coming eight decades.

They focused on three scenarios determined by different concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, and thus also different levels of global warming.

ADVERTISEMENT

Even if warming is limited to below 2C, and the climate is stabilized by 2040, “we have to assume that the Aletsch Glacier will keep retreating until the end of the century,” Jouvet said in the statement, pointing out that large glaciers are very slow to react to climate change.

This, he said, “means both ice volume and length will be reduced by more than half of what they are today”.

If the global community is unable to pull together and effectively limit the planet-warming gases emitted through burning fossil fuels, construction, aviation and mega-farming, the situation for the glacier will be “much more critical”, ETH said.

ADVERTISEMENT

If Switzerland’s climate warms by 4-8C by 2100 — an “unfavorable but unfortunately fully realistic scenario” — only “a couple of measly patches of ice” will remain.

And Konkordiaplatz, which is directly below Jungfraujoch and still covered in about 800 meters (half a mile) of ice, will be completely ice-free,” Jouvet said.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Why do we need camo in space’: Trump’s Space Force ridiculed for woodland camouflage uniforms

Published

on

On Friday, the United States Space Force released an image of their new uniforms on Twitter.

The image shows a Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) for a four-star general in a woodland camouflage pattern, with a matching camo nametape.

https://twitter.com/SpaceForceDoD/status/1218335200964464650

However, many people were confused as to why the Space Force would use uniforms designed to blend in on earth.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/PostCultRev/status/1218351691021484032

Sorry for the question but why do we need camo in space?

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

BUSTED: National Archives caught doctoring exhibit to remove criticism of President Trump from women

Published

on

The National Archives were caught editing an artifact from the Trump administration to remove criticism of the president, according to a bombshell new report in The Washington Post.

The newspaper reported on a "large color photograph" at the National Archives exhibit marking the centennial of women's suffrage.

"The 49-by-69-inch photograph is a powerful display. Viewed from one perspective, it shows the 2017 march. Viewed from another angle, it shifts to show a 1913 black-and-white image of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue. The display links momentous demonstrations for women’s rights more than a century apart on the same stretch of pavement. But a closer look reveals a different story," the newspaper noted.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

Published

on

Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image