November 27, 2015

A Voice for Glaciers at COP21

Posted by Mauri Pelto

During the last six years From a Glaciers Perspective has published 520 Posts examining the response of glaciers to climate change.  No hyperbole has been needed to use words such as disappear, fragmented, disintegrated, and collapse.  Glacier by glacier from the fragmentation of glaciers to the formation of new lakes and new islands has emphasized the changing map of our world as glaciers retreat.   The story details change, but the story remains the same; glaciers are poorly suited for our warming climate, and their only response is to hastily retreat to a point of equilibrium, which many will not attain, and some have already ultimately failed. The Gallery below is a mere snippet of the changes that are occurring. These are illustrations of why our paper this year led by the World Glacier Monitoring Service team was titled Historically unprecedented global glacier decline in the early 21st century. As the UN Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris, COP21 begins, since no glaciers are invited, there story must be told in pictures, data and our words.

Data: World Glacier Monitoring Service Mass Balance Time Series for Alpine Glaciers.






After 34 consecutive summers working on glaciers, there is occasion to speak as more than just a scientist, since glaciers do not have a voice people hear.