Iconic glaciers worldwide to melt away by 2050 – UN report

A new UN report shows many of the world’s iconic glaciers will disappear in just decades.

According to UNESCO research, glaciers at World Heritage sites will be completely gone by 2050 due to increasing melting.

About 10% of the world’s glaciers are represented by the 50 UNESCO sites that are currently under study.

They are currently responsible for about 5% of the observed global sea-level rise and are losing 58 billion tons of ice year, which is equal to the total annual water use of France and Spain.

The last glaciers in Africa, as well as several in Alaska, Yellowstone Park in the US, and Pyrenees Mont Perdu in France and Spain, may vanish.

According to the paper, since 2000, glaciers on New Zealand’s South Island have lost 20% of their volume.

Although it claims that more glaciers can be spared, it is quite doubtful given the present predictions of warming.

Glaciers provide water for domestic consumption, agriculture, and power for half of humanity, either directly or indirectly.

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UNESCO is pushing for the establishment of an international fund for glacier monitoring and protection in addition to dramatically reducing carbon emissions.

According to the report, such a fund would finance extensive research, foster networks of communication between all interested parties, and execute early warning and disaster risk reduction strategies.

Examples of endangered glaciers by region


According to available data, glaciers in all World Heritage sites in Africa will very likely be gone by 2050, including Kilimanjaro National Park and Mount Kenya.


Glaciers in Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (China) – #1 highest mass loss relative to 2000 (57.2 percent) and also the fastest melting glacier on the List.

Glaciers in Western Tien-Shan (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan) have shrunk by 27 percent since 2000.


Glaciers in Pyrenees Mont Perdu (France, Spain) – very likely to disappear by 2050.

Glaciers in The Dolomites (Italy) – very likely to disappear by 2050.

Latin America:

Glaciers in Los Alerces National Park (Argentina) – #2 highest mass loss relative to 2000 (45.6 percent).

Glaciers in Huascaran National Park (Peru) have shrunk by 15 percent since 2000.

North America:

Glaciers in Yellowstone National Park (United States of America) – very likely to disappear by 2050.

Glaciers in Yosemite National Park (United States of America) – very likely to disappear by 2050.

Glaciers in Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (Canada, United States of America) have lost 26.5 percent of their volume in 20 years.


Glaciers in Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand (New Zealand) have lost almost 20 percent of their volume since 2000.

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