Austrian glaciers likely to disappear by end of century with climate change: WMO chief

Published May 14, 2022, 7:20 AM

by Xinhua

VIENNA– The head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned that Austrian glaciers are likely to disappear entirely by the end of this century with global warming, Austrian news agency APA reported Friday.

Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2018 shows the Rhone Glacier covered with white blankets near the Furka Pass in Switzerland.(Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas told APA that the melting of glaciers and polar ice will “continue for centuries” in spite of the fight against climate change, and he “has no more hope for the Austrian glaciers.”

Glaciers in Switzerland, another Alpine country, are also expected to shrink to only 5 percent of their current size by the end of the century, Taalas said.
A gigantic postcard is seen on the Aletsch glacier under Jungfraujoch in Switzerland, on Nov. 16, 2018. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)

The melting of glaciers will impact the supply of drinking water and electricity production and raise the sea level, threatening a number of megacities, he warned.

However, the WMO chief said he remains cautiously optimistic about the global efforts to mitigate climate change, with politicians’ strong climate pledges at the Glasgow climate conference held in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2021 and private companies’ technological advances.