UNEP: World Glaciers Need Better Monitoring
World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) launched a new facts and figures report
on glaciers and ice caps during a side event on 1 September 2008, in Geneva,
Switzerland, during the 29th plenary session of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “Global Glacier Changes: Facts and Figures”
presents recent fluctuations of glaciers and ice caps and underlines an overall
trend of glaciers' retreat. Wilfried Haeberli, Director of WGMS, noted that
glaciers are unique demonstration objects of global climate change.
publication confirms the global trend of collapse and disintegration of
glaciers. In particular, it indicates that the average annual melting rate of
glaciers has doubled since the turn of the millennium, with record losses
posted in 2006 for key reference sites.
Peter Gilruth, Director of the Division
of Early Warning and Assessment, UNEP, underlined UNEP's work on synthesizing
scientific information on global environmental issues and noted that the new
report on glaciers will become a key information resource. Haeberli highlighted
that the lack of data on glaciers in some vulnerable regions undermines the
ability to provide precise early warning for countries and populations at risk.
In this regard, he called for strengthening the monitoring network in the
Press Release] [IPCC-29]