Melting of West Antarctic icesheet as a result of global warming may lead to disappearance of three-fourths of Europe’s alpine glaciers by 2100 and an increase in sea levels by four metres by the year 3000, said a study.
The study which was published on Nature Geoscience on Sunday predicted that mountain glaciers and icecaps would shrink by 15-27 percent in volume terms on average by 2100.
Ice loss on such a scale may have substantial impacts on regional hydrology and water availability, it warned.
It also stated that some regions will be impacted more by climate change, taking into account the altitude of glaciers, the nature of the terrain and their vulnerability to localized warming.
In the case of New Zealand, the country is estimated to lose 65-79 percent of its glaciers while Europe’s alpine glaciers could be wiped out by 75 percent. On the other hand, Greenland is expected to see a glacial loss at around eight percent and at around 10 percent in high-mountain Asia.
Melting of glaciers will see world sea levels to rise on an average by 12 centimeters (five inches) by 2100, said the study.
However, the study did not cover the icesheets of Antarctica and Greenland, where 99 percent of Earth's fresh water is present. If anyone of the two icesheets were to melt drastically, sea levels could increase by metres submerging coastal cities.
The study was conducted by Geophysicists Valentina Radic and Regine Hock of the University of Alaska and it assumed that the Earth’s mean surface temperature to rise by 2.8 degrees Celsius (5.04 degrees Fahrenheit) during the 21st century.