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Disappearing African Rare Glaciers

Published: 25th Oct, 2021


Recently, a report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated that Africa's rare glaciers will disappear in the next two decades due to climate change.


About the Report

  • The WMO made the findings in The State of the Climate in Africa 2020 report.
  • It details how Africa is disproportionately vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.
  • The report was done in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) through the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), and other international and regional scientific organizations.

Key-highlights of the Report

  • Africa is the continent that contributes least to global warming yet it is going to suffer the most.
    • While African countries contribute less than 4% of greenhouse gas emissions, the report highlighted the major impact of climate change on 1.3 billion people on the continent.
  • The last three glaciers in Africa are Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mount Kenya (Kenya), and the Ruwenzori Mountains (Uganda) receding so fast that they can disappear within two decades.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change could once again reduce domestic production by 3% by 2050.
    • The cost of adapting to climate change in Africa will rise to $ 50 billion a year by 2050.
  • The Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar is one where “famine-like conditions” are driven by climate change.
  • Parts of South Sudan have experienced severe flooding in about 60 years.
  • Further, massive displacement, hunger, and increasing climate shocks such as droughts and flooding are expected to increase in the future.
    • This is a major factor in the warnings of disasters for millions of people in Africa.

Responsible reasons

  • Global Warming: A combination of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced by industry, transportation, deforestation, and burning of fossil fuels, among other human activities, warms the planet and causes glaciers to melt.
  • Sea Warming: Oceans absorb 90% of global warming, and this affects the melting of glaciers, which are found mostly near poles.
  • Rapid Industrial Establishment: Since the early 1900s, many glaciers have melted rapidly, in particular, since the beginning of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases have increased temperatures, even higher in the poles, and as a result, glaciers are melting faster, stability at sea and return to land.

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