Global warming is accelerating at an alarming pace, which has devastating consequences on our planet. Scientists are now reporting that the glaciers in Central Asia are becoming smaller at an increased rate due to climate change.
According to the experts, these glaciers are shrinking four times faster than other glaciers from various parts of the world. This is extremely worrying, especially given the fact that the river flows in the are very important, as they sustain both the agriculture and the hydro power starting from Uzbekistan (one of the most irrigated areas in the world) up to western China. This includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and China’s north-western Xinjiang region.
Moreover, a study conducted by the German Research Centre for Geosciences shows that the increased temperatures announced in the years to come are threatening to defrost the remaining glaciers in the Tien Shan mountain range by as early as 2050.
This mountain range, which is about 1,500 miles long, contains about 33 percent of the ice found in the Himalayas and seven times more ice than the glaciers in the Alps.
Now it is reported that the total amount of ice has diminished by 27 percent over the last fifty years. This means about 5.4 billion tons of ice a year are lost. The average amount of ice lost worldwide is not more than 7 percent.
The same study also reported that more precipitation is expected in the area because of global warming. This will most likely melt the ice present on the glaciers. The melt can have a negative impact on the growing population residing in the area, who already has problems regarding drinkable water, which is becoming scarcer by the year.
“Currently we are in the golden phase, with relatively much water. But what could happen is quite worrisome, ” said lead study author Daniel Farinotti with the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research.
Already the problem of water is causing problems. Two years ago, Islam Kariimov, the Uzbek president, reported that there is a risk of having to deal with a military conflict over the water resources found in Central Asia. Now Uzbekistan wants to use water in the summer while Krygynstan needs it in the winter.
The results of the new study were published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
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