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Reaction: new predictions on the future of glaciers show impacts with any temperature rise

New estimates published in Science claim that under the most optimistic scenarios, glaciers will globally lose much more mass and contribute more to sea level rise than current estimates, including those published in the latest IPCC report.

05/01/2023 - 20:00 CET
Expert reactions

Ruiz de Elvira - Glaciares

Antonio Ruiz de Elvira

Professor of Applied Physics at the University of Alcalá

Science Media Centre Spain

The press release is correct, but it fails to consider the possibility of the total lack of climate change mitigation, which is foreseeable from now on despite the claims of the various COPs. 

The Science study is very good and its conclusions are supported by the best available data. However, the consequences for humanity are much greater if Greenland's glaciers slide into the sea, and that is not covered in this study.  

All existing evidence is consistent with the results of this paper and the authors have taken into account possible limitations of their models and calculations.  

The study makes much of the earlier partial data more concrete. In California, the water needed to sustain agriculture comes from glaciers directly from the end of July. The disappearance of the Sierra Nevada glaciers means an almost complete reduction in water availability there from that time onwards. In Spain, the same applies to the glaciers in the Pyrenees. In India and China they depend crucially on the Himalayan glaciers.

The author has not responded to our request to declare conflicts of interest
Global glacier change in the 21st century: Every increase in temperature matters
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
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Study types:
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
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