In a study, it has been found on Thursday that the largest glacier in the Alps, Aletsch could completely disappear by the end of this century if no action is taken to rein in climate change.
In Switzerland, a team of researchers has used a cutting-edge simulation to show how the Aletsch Glacier will change as the planet is constantly warm, said the ETH technical university in Zurich.
The huge holds a total of 86 square kilometers (33 square miles) in the Swiss Alps and is considered to hold around 11 billion tonnes of ice. Since the turn of the century, there has been recorded a sink near about one kilometer (0.6 miles) since the turn of the century.
The scientists have predicted that the trend will continue even if the world is able to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement target of capping global warming at “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.
The research team of ETH said that even in the best-case scenario the glacier would lose 50 percent of its volume and length by the year 2100, while in the worst-case scenario, “a couple patches of ice will be all that’s left.”
The research team, in a study, earlier this year determined that more than 90 percent of those glaciers will disappear by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are left without examing. However, Thursday’s study was mainly focused on the impact on the biggest glacier of them all.
In ETH’s Laboratory of Hydraulics, Guillaume Jouvet, and Matthias Huss, Hydrology, and Glaciology applied 3D glacier model simulations for the ice retreat using different established climate scenarios for Switzerland.
It shows that glacier seen from the Eggishorn and Jungfraujoch peaks, which tower 2,927 and 3,466 meters above sea level, as it rapidly recedes over the coming eight decades.
Pointing out the large glaciers which are very slow to react to climate change, Jouvet said in a statement, “we have to assume that the Aletsch Glacier will keep retreating until the end of the century.”
“This means both ice volume and length will be reduced by more than half of what they are today,” he added. The ETH further claimed that if the global community is unable to pull together and effectively limit the plant-warming gases emitted through burning fossil fuels, construction, aviation, and mega-farming, the situation for the glacier will be “much more critical”.