Glaciers across the globe are continuing to melt so fast that many will disappear by the middle of this century, the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) said today.
The announcement of the latest annual results from monitoring in nine mountain ranges on four continents comes as doubts have been cast on how much climate scientists have exaggerated the problem of glacier melt, which is seen as a leading indicator of how much the planet is heating up.
Last week the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) apologised for "a paragraph" in its four-volume 2007 report which warned there was a "very high" risk that the Himalayan glaciers, on which at least half a billion of the world's poorest people depend for water, would disappear by 2035.
Glaciers at much higher altitudes - particularly in the Himalayas and Alaska, where it was colder and global warming could increase snowfall - could grow in the short term and were likely to last "centuries", said Haeberli. "But even for the large glaciers, for a realistic [mid-range warming] scenario, it's centuries, not millennia, and not many centuries," he added.
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Article includes a brief description of the cause of the entire "Glaciergate" row currently in vogue among Climate Change deniers.