Going, going, gone
Mount Kilimanjaro, Yosemite, the Dolomites, and more.
It’s normal for glaciers to melt.
But the rate at which they’re losing ice has been alarmingly high over the past few decades.
A new report from UNESCO predicts that glaciers will completely vanish from more than a dozen World Heritage sites in the next three decades.
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In total, one-third of World Heritage sites with glaciers will lose them in 30 years or less.
Even if countries severely limit their greenhouse gas emissions today, the UNESCO researchers say that one-third of the World Heritage site glaciers cannot be saved at this point.
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But they do say it’s possible to preserve the other two-thirds.
That is if countries take robust action to keep global warming from climbing higher than 1.5 degrees Celcius compared to pre-industrial levels.
Here are 10 famous sites at risk of losing their glaciers:
All glaciers atop the tallest mountain in Africa — and across the continent as a whole — will most likely vanish by 2050, UNESCO predicts.
Glaciers at this site in Yunnan province, China, are melting at a rate faster than those at any other World Heritage site. They have lost over 50 percent of their mass since 2000.
Accelerated melt will likely claim the last of the glaciers atop Italy’s Dolomites in the next 30 years.
A similar fate — the complete disappearance of glaciers — will likely befall this iconic American National Park by 2050.
Though the glaciers at this northern Patagonia site won’t vanish so soon, they are melting at an alarming rate. In the past two decades, they have lost 45.6 percent of their ice mass.
This section of the Himalayas in northern India is seeing a similar trend. Glaciers here have lost 16 percent of their mass since 2000.
Though the sites are known for snow and ice-covered peaks, one World Heritage site in the eastern Alps called Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona is on track to lose all of its glaciers by 2050.
This rugged, mountainous site in Canada’s Northwest Territories will also likely see complete glacier loss in the next 30 years.
In northern Central Siberia, UNESCO also predicts the disappearance of glaciers in this mountainous region.
And just like Yosemite, UNESCO predicts that glaciers at this site will be totally or mostly gone by 2050.