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Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro among mountains to lose snow by 2050 – Report

  • UNESCO has reported that the iconic Mount Kenyan and Mount Kilimanjaro will lose their snow by 2050
  • The warning came after a study of 18,600 glaciers across 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites – covering around 66,000 square kilometers
  • Glaciers are retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures

The glaciers of Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro will lose their snow by 2050, according to a UNESCO report.

Snow on top of Mount Kenya (l), part of Mount Kilimanjaro (r). Photos: Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Study of 18,600 glaciers at 50 sites

According to the report, the warning follows a study of 18,600 glaciers across the 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – covering around 66,000 square kilometers (25,000 square miles).

The study revealed that the glaciers of a third of the sites were doomed to disappear.

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“The study shows that these glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures,” UNESCO said.

Currently, glaciers lose 58 billion tonnes of ice each year, equivalent to the combined annual water consumption of France and Spain, and are responsible for almost 5% of the observed global rise in sea level. from the sea, the agency explained.

“These glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures,” UNESCO said.

“Glaciers in a third of the 50 World Heritage sites are doomed to disappear by 2050, regardless of efforts to limit temperature rise,” UNESCO said.

Glaciers can be saved

It is still possible to save the glaciers of the remaining two-thirds of the sites if the temperature rise does not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial period.

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Countries have pledged to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – a target the world is on the verge of missing given current emissions trends.

“This report is a call to action,” UNESCO Director Audrey Azoulay said ahead of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt which kicks off on Monday.

“Only a rapid reduction in our CO2 emission levels can save glaciers and the exceptional biodiversity that depends on them. COP27 will have a crucial role in helping to find solutions to this problem,” she added.

In Europe, some glaciers in the Pyrenees and the Dolomites will also probably disappear in three decades.

The same is true for the glaciers of Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks in the United States.

Melting ice and snow are among the top 10 threats from climate change, according to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in February.

Young environmentalist mourns climate change

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Elizabeth Wathuti is Kenya’s youngest environmentalist, climate activist and founder of the Green Generation Initiative.

She is famous for her viral and moving speech at the 26th Conference of the Parties summit which called on world leaders to open their hearts.

Despite her accomplishments, Wathuti is a grieving woman and says the grief of climate injustices is hard to bear.

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Source: TUKO.co.ke