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The Hinman Glacier in Washington DISAPPEARS after thousands of years

The largest glacier in Washington’s Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak mountain ranges is all but gone, as glaciologists warn that half of the planets’ ice caps are on their way.

The Hinman Glacier, which sits on the Cascade Mountains, has shrunk to 0.01 square miles, just 4 percent of what it was in 1958, glaciologist Mauri Pelto of Nichols College reported.

“It’s completely gone,” Pelto said CNN of the melting glacier. “This was the largest glacier in this part of the mountain range – it was exceptional.”

He noted that while it could reform a bit, “as we continue to warm into the future, that’s going to be even less welcoming” to the Hinman and glaciers around the world.

The Hinman Glacier Area In 1985

The Hinman Glacier has shrunk to 0.01 square miles, just 4 percent of what it was in 1958 when scientists began tracking its decline. In the photo: the glacier area as it is (left) and the glacier area as it was in 1985 (right)

Nichols College Glaciologist Mauri Pelto (Pictured) Said,

Nichols College glaciologist Mauri Pelto (pictured) said, “It’s completely gone,” when he led an expedition to the glacier last year

The Melting Glacier Has Also Created The Unofficial Hinman Lake (Above)

The melting glacier has also created the unofficial Hinman Lake (above)

In his report published late last year, Pelto said scientists have been tracking the demise of Hinman Glacier for decades, as evidenced by the unofficial Hinman Lake forming where the glacier is melting.

The disappearing Hinman Glacier and accumulation in the lake create problems for the local environment as the glacier typically feeds nearby rivers.

Along with Hinman losing nearly 95 percent of its size, Pelto said nearby Columbia Glacier fell by 25 percent, Foss Glacier by 70 percent and Lynch Glacier by 40 percent.

Overall, it has led to a sharp drop in freshwater for the Skykomish River watershed, a critical part of the Pacific Northwest’s salmon population, CNN reports.

Pelto said the Skykomish River basin has lost 55 percent of its area since the 1950s.

Pictured In 1988, The Glacier Is Unlikely To Return To Its Original Size In Winter, As Experts Doubt It Can Really Be Called A Glacier In Its Current State

Pictured in 1988, the glacier is unlikely to return to its original size in winter, as experts doubt it can really be called a glacier in its current state

The Diminishing Glaciers In The Pacific Northwest Are Likely To Impact Local Rivers And Wildlife. Pictured Is The Skykomish River Basin That Has Lost 55 Percent Of Its Area

The diminishing glaciers in the Pacific Northwest are likely to impact local rivers and wildlife. Pictured is the Skykomish River basin that has lost 55 percent of its area

David Shean, professor of civil and environmental engineering and ice expert at the University of Washington, noted that Hinman Glacier in its current state can no longer be classified as a true glacier.

He told CNN that even if the glacier gains mass in winter, it will likely continue to lose more than it gains and “disappear completely in the next decade or more.”

The bleak outlook was also predicted for up to half of Earth’s glaciers, which experts say could be lost to climate change by the end of the century, even if humanity makes traumatic changes to curb the outcome.

A Unesco report last year said the Dolomites in Italy, the Yosemite and Yellowstone parks in the United States and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania will disappear as early as 2050.

Unesco Monitors Some 18,600 Glaciers Across 50 Of Its World Heritage Sites And Said A Third Of Them Will Disappear By 2050

UNESCO monitors some 18,600 glaciers across 50 of its World Heritage Sites and said a third of them will disappear by 2050

Which glaciers are at risk?

Africa

  • Glaciers in all World Heritage Sites including Kilimanjaro National Park and Mount Kenya

Asia

  • Glaciers in three parallel rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (China)
  • Glaciers in Western Tien-Shan (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan)

Europe

  • Glaciers in Pyrenees Mont Perdu (France, Spain)
  • Glaciers in the Dolomites (Italy)

Latin America

  • Glaciers in Los Alerces National Park (Argentina)
  • Glaciers in Huascaran National Park (Peru)

North America

  • Glaciers in Yellowstone National Park (USA)
  • Glaciers in Yosemite National Park (USA)
  • Glaciers in Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (Canada, USA)

Oceania

  • Glaciers in Te Wahipounamu (New Zealand)

UNESCO monitors some 18,600 glaciers at 50 of its World Heritage Sites and said a third of them will disappear by 2050.

While the rest could be saved by keeping the global temperature rise below 2.7°F from pre-industrial levels, in a business-as-usual emissions scenario, about 50 percent of these World Heritage glaciers could disappear almost completely by 2100.

The 50 World Heritage Sites in the report are home to about 10 percent of the Earth’s glaciers.

But the report warns that these glaciers have been accelerating their retreat since 2000 because of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are warming temperatures.

Together, the glaciers lose 58 billion tons of ice every year – the equivalent of the combined annual water consumption of France and Spain.

In addition, they are responsible for nearly 5 percent of the observed global sea level rise.

Worryingly, the report concludes that glaciers will disappear at a third of the 50 sites by 2050, regardless of efforts to limit temperature rises.

In Africa, this includes all glaciers in World Heritage Sites, including Kilimanjaro National Park and Mount Kenya.

In Asia, glaciers in Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas and those in Western Tian-Shan are at risk.

And in Europe, the glaciers in the Pyrenees Mont Perdu and the Dolomites are very likely to disappear by 2050.

But there is hope.

UNESCO says it is still possible to save the glaciers in the remaining two-thirds of the sites if global temperature rise remains below 2.7°F.

Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, said: ‘This report is a call to action.

Only a rapid reduction in our CO2 emissions can save glaciers and the exceptional biodiversity that depends on them.

“COP27 will play a crucial role in finding solutions to this problem. UNESCO is determined to support states in pursuing this goal.”

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Jacky

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