Glaciers in one-third of World Heritage sites might disappear by 2050
A new UNESCO report alleges that one-third of the glaciers in World Heritage sites are set to melt by 2050.
Not only are these glaciers an important part of the natural beauty of the famed sites, their loss will lead to even more water scarcity in communities around the world, the report says.
The news comes ahead of next week’s COP27 climate change conference in Egypt where world leaders will discuss fossil fuel cuts and ways to deal with more frequent extreme weather events, per CNN.
Notably, Africa could lose all of its glaciers by 2050, including those in Mount Kilimanjaro National Park and on Mount Kenya.
UNESCO data shows that the fastest melting glaciers are located in the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan protected areas in China. They also have the highest mass loss, having lost 57.2% of their total mass.
In Europe, glaciers in the Italian Dolomites and the Pyrenees Mont Perdu in Spain and France are projected to disappear altogether by 2050.
The second-highest glacial mass lost since 2000 occurred in Los Alcerces National Park in Argentina. Peru is also predicted to lose much or all of its glacial mass by 2050.
North America is could lose its iconic glaciers in both Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks within the next 30 years.
Since 2000, the glaciers in Te Wahipounamu, New Zealand has lost about 20% of their volume and are predicted to lose more.