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The World's Glaciers

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Here's my very quick translation (I'm an Italian/English translator amongst other things) of an article about the Calderone Glacier on Gran Sasso - not too far from Rome - about half way down Italy. Link to original (with photos): http://www.meteo.it/giornale/il-ghiacciaio-del-calderone-non-e-scomparso-12944.shtml

My translation: 

The Calderone Glacier hasn’t disappeared – under the detritus, a layer of buried ice between 15 and 25 metres thick, can still be found.

The Calderone Glacier, on the Gran Sasso Massif, is the southernmost in Europe, and in the last few days, some alarming news has been received on its state of health: it’s virtually disappeared! In reality, on the surface, only 3 snowfields of reduced size remain, and they’re unlikely to survive to the end of the season. The situation is explained by the unusual climate conditions of the last few months; from the scarce spring snow to the anomalous heat of the summer. Indeed, as Professor Fazzini, a climatologist from the University of Camerino confirms, the weather station situated at the Rifugio Franchetti, at the base of the glacier has recorded temperatures higher than 20 degrees on 5 separate occasions in the first half of August – exceptionally high for such an altitude.

However, all this doesn’t mean that the glacier has disappeared; under the detritus, in fact, a layer of buried ice between 15 and 25 metres thick, can still be found. The glacier therefore survives, protected by rocky detritus, even though, as Professor Fazzini reminds us: “In the last 10 years its thickness has shrunk by around a metre”, in all probability down to recent climatic change.

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Humboldt Glacier - the last glacier of Venezuela

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Glaciers are retreating around the world as the planet warms. In the Andes, they’ve been in retreat for more than a century, with recession, as geographers call it, speeding up in more recent years. This is “consistent with the expected impacts” of regional and global climate changes, write Carsten Braun and Maximiliano Bezada in their history of the disappearing glaciers in Venezuela.

https://daily.jstor.org/the-last-glacier-of-venezuela/

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Impact of a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius on Asia’s glaciers

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Glaciers in the high mountains of Asia (HMA) make a substantial contribution to the water supply of millions of people1, 2, and they are retreating and losing mass as a result of anthropogenic climate change3 at similar rates to those seen elsewhere4, 5. In the Paris Agreement of 2015, 195 nations agreed on the aspiration to limit the level of global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius ( °C) above pre-industrial levels. However, it is not known what an increase of 1.5 °C would mean for the glaciers in HMA. Here we show that a global temperature rise of 1.5 °C will lead to a warming of 2.1 ± 0.1 °C in HMA, and that 64 ± 7 per cent of the present-day ice mass stored in the HMA glaciers will remain by the end of the century. The 1.5 °C goal is extremely ambitious and is projected by only a small number of climate models of the conservative IPCC’s Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)2.6 ensemble. Projections for RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5 reveal that much of the glacier ice is likely to disappear, with projected mass losses of 49 ± 7 per cent, 51 ± 6 per cent and 64 ± 5 per cent, respectively, by the end of the century; these projections have potentially serious consequences for regional water management and mountain communities.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v549/n7671/full/nature23878.html?foxtrotcallback=true

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