More than half of the Alpine glaciers could be gone by 2050, a new study has revealed.
New research has shown that by 2050 the volume of ice in the European Alps could have fallen by 65 percent, based on the last ten years of global warming.
But even if warming rates continue as they did in the last 20 years, almost half the volume of ice will be lost (46 percent).
And if the rate of warming stays exactly the same as it is now, more than a third will vanish.
This study suggests that action is urgently needed to stop the rapid increase in global warming, but that it is already too late to completely save the glaciers.
The team, led by the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, predicted that, even if global warming were to stop immediately, by 2050 the volume of ice would have fallen by 34 percent.
Unlike traditional models, which project estimates for the end of the century, this new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, considers the shorter term.
The researchers hope that this will encourage action, making it easier for people to understand the changes they will see in their lifetime.
Considering the data used only goes up to 2022, they predict that the real estimate could be worse than any of their predictions.
Dr. Samuel Cook said: “How old will our children be in 2050? Will there still be snow in 2038, when Switzerland may host the Olympic Games?
“These estimates are all the more important as the disappearance of kilometers of ice will have marked consequences for the population, infrastructure and water reserves.
“The data used to build the scenarios stop in 2022, a year that was followed by an exceptionally hot summer.
“It is therefore likely that the situation will be even worse than the one we present.”
To get these predictions the researchers used a new computer model which has artificial intelligence algorithms to study climate data.
Professor Guillaume Jouvet added: “Machine learning is revolutionizing the integration of complex data into our models.
“This essential step, previously notoriously complicated and computationally expensive, is now becoming more accurate and efficient.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”
Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.