One third of the ice stored in glaciers of Asia, will be lost before the end of the century even if the world can keep global warming below the 1.5 °C that scientists say. This development will affect the water supply of millions of people of the continent.
The authors from the Netherlands also considered the scenario that if a critical temperature level is exceeded, and came to the conclusion that in this case, the glaciers of Asia by the end of the century may lose nearly two-thirds of the ice.
“In the regions where melting of glaciers is an important part of the river, receding glaciers can become a problem. A lot of people live in the basins of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra, which originate in the mountains of Asia. River water is used for irrigation of farmland, drinking and hydroelectric power plants”, says Philip Kreienbrink, geographer from Utrecht University, who led the study.
The goal of keeping global warming below the 1.5 °C was delivered at the international climate conference in Paris two years ago. But experts say that it will require massive changes in the world economy.
In General, researchers compared 110 climate models and found that high-altitude mountain glaciers in Asia, tend to have higher levels of warming than the world average. All the analyzed glaciers are losing mass, except that in the mountains of Kunlun in Western China.
Given the impact on the level of melting macadam, covers some of the glaciers, the team concluded that the amount of ice loss in Asian glaciers is almost proportional to the warming, they have, albeit with some regional variations.
“Even if the temperature stabiliziruemost at current levels, loss of ice mass will continue for decades until a new equilibrium,” said the researchers.
The authors stressed that achieving a 1.5-degree target will retain a significant portion of water resources in Asia and retribution in case of failure will depend on the extent of the failure of the climate programme.
A study published in the journal Nature.