Glaciers melting faster than believed: scientists

20th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 January 2006, BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY - A study by German scientists has found that glaciers in the Himalayas, Alps and other high mountains are melting faster than initially thought, but polar icecaps are melting more slowly.

20 January 2006

BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY - A study by German scientists has found that glaciers in the Himalayas, Alps and other high mountains are melting faster than initially thought, but polar icecaps are melting more slowly.

Published Thursday in the science journal Nature, the research suggests that by 2100, melted ice will only raise world sea levels half as much as has been feared in low-lying nations. Much of that ice is currently on Greenland and Antarctica.

Using new calculations about the climate and weather, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Oceanographic Research AWI examined previous findings that sea levels would increase by 40 centimetres this century because of global warming.

About one quarter of the future gain is expected to come from melting ice and the rest from the expansion of ocean water as it becomes warmer.

Researcher Sarah Raper of AWI warned that faster glacial melting meant that mountain lakes fed by glaciers were at risk of flooding. This might bring disaster in places like Nepal. But she said more data was needed to improve the forecasts.

DPA

Subject: German news

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