Glasgow Climate Summit

News: Recently, the 100-km long body of ice in Antarctica, which has been experiencing rapid melting, was formally named Glasgow after the Glasgow climate summit. The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is being held in Glasgow, UK.

Details:

  • Scientists from the University of Leeds in England have studied a chain of glaciers in the Getz basin of Antarctica.
  • 14 glaciers in the Getz Basin of West Antarctica are thinning by an average of 25% between 1994 and 2018 due to climate change. The 315 gigatonnes of ice were lost from the region in the last 25 years and contributing to rising global sea levels.
  • The Getz basin is part of Antarctica’s largest ice shelf. The shelf is subject to more changeable oceanic forcing – a process where relatively warm deep ocean water melts the glaciers from below – than other Antarctic shelves.
  • The eight newly named glaciers are based on
    • Stockholm Conference (1972): One of the major results of the Stockholm conference was the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
    • World Climate Conference, Geneva (1979):The World Climate Conference, now usually referred to as the First World Climate Conference was held in Geneva.
    • Rio Summit (1992):It recommended a list of development practices called Agenda 21. It gave the concept of sustainable development to be combined economic growth with ecological responsibility.
    • COP1 (Berlin, Germany, 1995):The first Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-1) met in Berlin in 1995.
    • Kyoto Protocol (1997):In Kyoto, developed countries agreed to a collective target of a 5.2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by between 2008 and 2012.
    • COP13 (Bali, Indonesia, 2007):Parties agreed on the Bali Road Map and Bali action plan, which charted the way towards a post-2012 outcome.
    • COP21 (Paris, 2015):To keep global temperature well below 2.0C above pre-industrial times and endeavor to limit them even more to 1.5C. It requires rich nations to maintain USD 100bn a year funding pledge beyond the year 2020.
    • Incheon: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is based in Incheon, South Korea.
  • Over the past 40 years, satellites have observed huge iceberg calving events, changes in the flow of glaciers and rapidly thinning ice demonstrating the devastating impact of global warming.
  • The naming of the glaciers after the locations of major climate treaties, conferences and reports is a great way to celebrate the international collaboration on climate change science and policy over the last 42 years.