Emerging risks from glacier vanishing and lake formation in cold mountain ranges*

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By Wilfried Haeberli

Geography Department, University of Zurich, Switzerland

As a consequence of continued global warming, rapid and fundamental changes are taking place in high-mountain regions. Within decades only, many still existing glacier landscapes will probably transform into new and strongly different landscapes of bare bedrock, loose debris, numerous lakes and sparse vegetation. These new landscapes are then likely to persist for centuries if not millennia to come. During variable but mostly extended parts of this future time period, they will be characterized by pronounced disequilibria within their geo- and ecosystems. Intensive work on such aspects is presently carried out in Switzerland.... (Learn more by downloading the Paper and the Slideshow)

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