Climate experts pledge to scale up high-altitude fight against mountain melt

NASA Jorge Montt Glacier, Southern Patagonian Ice Field, Chile. Photo: NASA

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


The UN’s weather watchdog and partners committed on Thursday to a new initiative to ramp up observation and prediction technology that will help address the challenges of climate change, melting snow and ice, and water-related hazards.

In a call for action at the end of this week’s High Mountain Summit to tackle the global warming causing glaciers to retreat, along with snow fields, permafrost and associated ecosystems – collectively called the cryosphere – the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and partners announced they would step up commitments on the issue of water security and natural disasters linked to melting ice in mountain regions.

Changes across the world’s peaks are altering the cryosphere, and impacting the flow of freshwater, which meets the needs of more than half of humanity – they are, in effect, “water towers of the world”.

In addition, the problem of disappearing ice caps is stretching from mountainsides to urban communities downstream, as glacial melt-dependent pastures becomes parched, and avalanches, floods and other disasters snuff out lives and weaken local economies.

WMO pledged to lead the effort to stop the trend at the conclusion of the three-day summit in Geneva, to address these changes to water systems and supply.

To improve high mountain observations that could better-forecast potential disasters and prompt lifesaving action, WMO will provide leadership and guidance in an Integrated High Mountain Observation and Prediction Initiative as part of its call to action, entitled “Avoiding the Impending Crisis in Mountain Weather, Climate, Snow, Ice and Water: Pathways to a Sustainable Global Future.”

The initiative to boost climate disaster prediction and resilience is a tool that will help in “tackling the climate crisis, evaporating snow and ice, and water-related stress.”

WMO said that sustainable mountain development and ecosystem conservation should be “integral” in international development policy, and in addition, more transboundary data sharing and prediction communications will be critical in safeguarding high mountain regions.

One of the world’s greatest challenges

More than 150 summit participants from around the globe highlighted the natural hazard and water insecurity impacts of glacial snow melt in their communities.

In Switzerland, glaciers have lost 10 per cent of their volume in the last five years, two per cent of which diminished in the last year alone. By the end of the century, 90 per cent of the nation’s remaining 4,000 ice sheets may melt, the Swiss Federal Councillor revealed.

The summer of 2019 saw such intense heat waves, the equivalent of Switzerland’s annual drinking water consumption melted from its glaciers in just 15 days.

Water security is becoming “one of the greatest challenges of the world’s population” the summit declaration says, “and the uncertainties on the availability of freshwater from mountain rivers is a significant factor of risk for local and downstream ecosystems, agriculture, forestry, food production, fisheries, hydropower production, transportation, tourism, recreation, infrastructure, domestic water supply, and human health.”

International observations show an acceleration in the retreat of 31 major glaciers in the past two decades. But lack of sufficient data hinders reliable monitoring.

The summit noted the scarcity of meteorological, cryosphere and related observations in mountain regions, but stressed the potential of space-based surveillance.

A September report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), outlined the growing burden of the changing climate, its strain on water systems and the impacts on various species, livelihoods and economies, which served as the springboard for the summit dialogue.                      

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Inflation and interest rates indicate urgent need for action

Manufacturing is finally entering a new era

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

8th Euronest Assembly: the future of relations with Eastern partners

The metamorphosis of the categorical imperative in medical students

FROM THE FIELD: Hardy seeds bear fruit to protect Colombia’s environment

Peace will be ‘paramount’ issue for incoming Afghan Government: UN mission chief

G20 GDP growth nudges up to 1.0% in the second quarter of 2018

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Terrorist content online: companies to be given just one hour to remove it

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

Access to health in the developping world

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

The economic cost of anti-vaccination movements in Italy

Canada grants asylum for Saudi teen who fled family: UNHCR

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

EP Brexit Steering Group calls on the UK to overcome the deadlock

What India’s route to universal health coverage can teach the world

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

UN Mission in Afghanistan gravely concerned about ill-treatment of prisoners by Taliban, following first-hand testimony

The New Year 2016 will not be benevolent to Europe

UN envoy commends successful conclusion of Guinea-Bissau presidential election

Hydrogen power is here to stay. How do we convince the public that it’s safe?

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

How robotics can help humanitarians bridge the digital divide

4 ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable

Not faith, ‘but those who manipulate the faithful’ driving wedge between religions, UN-backed forum in Baku told

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe must be more ambitious in COP21 and lead on climate finance and sustainable development”, Green UK MEP Jean Lambert points out from Brussels

Sudan: ‘Violence must stop’, says UNICEF chief, ‘gravely concerned’ over 19 child deaths since military backlash

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

Youth Parliament to finalise millennials´ priorities for future of the EU

Syria’s Idlib ‘on the brink’ of a nightmare, humanitarian chiefs warn, launching global solidarity campaign

Guterres says justice must be done following deadly Burkina Faso convoy attack

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

Gender parity can boost economic growth. Here’s how

YO!FEST ENGAGES 8,000 YOUNG EUROPEANS IN FUTURE OF EU

FROM THE FIELD: Watering the parched farmland of São Tomé and Príncipe

Asia and Pacific on course to miss all Sustainable Development Goals, says UN region chief

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

JADE at European Business Summit 2015

Rising inequality affecting more than two-thirds of the globe, but it’s not inevitable: new UN report

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

The global liberal order is in trouble – can it be salvaged, or will it be replaced?

Civilian death toll continues to mount in Syria, UN relief chief tells Security Council

Brexit update: Will the EU grant extention to Britain preventing economic chaos?

4 big trends for the sharing economy in 2019

UN Security Council welcomes results of Mali’s presidential elections

Single-use plastics: New EU rules to reduce marine litter

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: Strategies and reflections

Why trust and technology go hand-in-hand

More Stings?

Comments

  1. richard burcik says:

    The world-famous philosopher of science, Karl Popper, insisted that to be a valid scientific theory any hypothesis must be falsifiable. This includes the widely held conjecture of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change. In short, a single set of scholarly findings that is not explained by the premise of man-made global warming which is attributable to the burning of fossil fuels can falsify this entire body of scientific speculation and this has recently occurred. Last summer the third of three peer-reviewed scientific papers that were conducted by three separate groups of expert investigators from three different universities and which have been published in eminent peer-reviewed scholarly journals have found no evidence to support the assertion regarding human-induced climate change. Instead, all three groups independently found that the warming that has happened was almost entirely attributable to galactic cosmic rays that affect the quantity of the Earth’s low hanging clouds. These expert investigators call this canopy or blanket the “umbrella effect”. The bottom line is that the entire climate change hysteria has now been falsified and is untrue. These three experimental results have conclusively shown that the IPCC and its computer simulation models (GCMs) are not valid.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s