Saturday, August 22, 2015

Central Asia’s Glaciers May Lose Half Their Ice by Mid-Century

The speed at which the warming climate is melting glaciers in Central Asia may ruin the water supply of millions of people within 50 years.

These glaciers in the Teskey Ala-Too, Kyrgyzstan, are melting fast. (Image Credit: D. Farinotti, GFZ/WSL) Click to Enlarge.
Glaciers in the largest mountain range in Central Asia, the Tien Shan, have lost over a quarter of their mass in the last 50 years, and nearly a fifth of their area.

An international team of researchers estimates that since the 1960s the glaciers have shrunk by almost 3,000 square kilometres, losing an average of 60 sq km of ice annually.

The Tien Shan reach almost 7,500 metres (24,500 feet) in height, and are a vital reservoir for the countries through which they pass – China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The team, from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), report in the current online issue of Nature Geoscience that about half of the mountains’ glacier volume could be depleted by the 2050s.

Read more at Central Asia’s Glaciers May Lose Half Their Ice by Mid-Century

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