Study: Alpine glaciers may nearly vanish

April 4, 2006

The World Glacier Monitoring Service is warning Europe's Alps might lose three-quarters of its glaciers to global warming during the coming century.

Scientists at the Zurich-based service say they base their conclusion on forecasts of temperature and precipitation changes in a new computer model of Alpine glaciation, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The Consultative Body on Climate Changes, a national Swiss scientific organization based in Berne, reportedly says summers are likely to become warmer by about 3C before the end of the century, and precipitation is likely to increase by about 10 percent.

Across the Alps, that would mean a loss of approximately 75 percent in the glaciated area, researchers told the BBC.

Scientists note glaciers are crucial in providing fresh drinking water, as well as important for tourism, irrigation and hydro-power.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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