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In a concerning revelation that Nepal’s mountains lose one-third of their ice, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reported that Nepal’s iconic snow-capped peaks have shed nearly a quarter of their ice cover over the last three decades due to the escalating impacts of global warming. Guterres conveyed this disheartening news following his visit to the region around Mount Everest, the planet’s highest summit.
Climate experts underline that while the Earth’s temperature has surged by an average of 0.74 degrees Celsius over a century, the rate of warming across the Himalayas in South Asia has exceeded global averages.
The U.N. Secretary-General, in a video message after surveying the Solukhumbu region, expressed his grave concerns regarding the stark reality that Nepal’s mountains lose one-third of their ice: “I am here today to cry out from the rooftop of the world: stop the madness.” He passionately urged to end the fossil fuel era, cautioning that the consequences of melting glaciers would result in swollen lakes and rivers, leading to the destruction of entire communities and a drastic rise in sea levels.
According to a report published in June this year by scientists, glaciers in the Hindu-Kush Himalaya could potentially lose up to 75% of their volume by the end of the century due to global warming. This dangerous situation foretells devastating flooding and water scarcity for approximately 240 million inhabitants residing in the mountainous region.
Mountaineers returning from Everest have reported observable changes, describing the mountain as drier and grayer than before. Guterres, currently on a four-day visit to Nepal, emphasized the alarming statistics, stating Nepal’s mountains lose one-third of their ice in just over 30 years.
The U.N. Chief appealed to nations worldwide to curtail the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent “the worst of climate chaos” and mitigate the looming environmental crisis. This urgent plea arrives amidst a critical moment in addressing the environmental challenges faced by Nepal’s majestic and ecologically vital mountain ranges.
The disclosure of Nepal’s mountains losing one-third of their ice stands as a stark reminder of the relentless impacts of climate change, prompting a call for immediate and collaborative action to safeguard the planet’s vulnerable ecosystems and the millions of lives reliant on their stability.