THE MELTING OF THE WORLD'S ICE.
VULNERABLE RIVER BASINS Many of the world's cities are in watersheds down-stream from mountains where accelerated melting of glaciers or snow could contribute to severe flooding, especially if the basins have been heavily deforested. All of these basins have lost more than 50 percent of their original forest cover. Mountains Number of Large Cities Basin Upstream (over 100,000) in Basin Ganges Himalayas 85 Rhine Alps 68 Danube Alps 62 Yangtze Himalayas 56 Parana Andes 54 Indus Hindu Kush 34 Huang Tibetan Plateau 27 Jiang Himalayas 18 Magdalena Andes 17 Missouri/Miss. Rockies 15 Brahmaputra Himalayas 14 Po Alps 12 Rhone Alps 12 Source: Janet Abramovitz, et al., Watersheds of the World (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute and Worldwatch Institute, 1998].
Alaska's Columbia Glacier has retreated 13 kilometers since 1982 and all 14 other glaciers in the area are retreating.
100 of the 150 glaciers of Montana's Glacier National Park have completely melted since 1850 and the rest are projected to be gone in 30 years.
Upsala Glacier in Argentina has retreated 60 meters a year For the past 60 years, and the rate is accelerating.
South Patagonian Ice Field in Argentina and Chile has decreased by more than 500 square kilometers in the past 50 years.
Duosuogang Peak glaciers in the Ulan Ula Mountains of China have shrunk by 60 percent since the early 1970s.
Pindari Glacier in the Indian Himalayas is retreating at an average of 135 meters a year.
Tien Shan Mountain glaciers of Central Asia have last 22 percent of their volume in the last 40 years.
About 2,000 of the glaciers in the eastern Himalayas have disappeared in the post century.
Arctic sea ice has thinned by 40 percent in less than 30 years.
Three glaciers in Irian Jaya have increased rate of retreat from 30 meters a year in the 1920s to more than 45 meters a year.
Tasman Glacier in New Zealand has thinned by about 200 meters on average since the 1970s.
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|Title Annotation:||effects of polar and mountain ice melting|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2000|
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