According to French President Emmanuel Macron, the melting of glaciers presents an unprecedented challenge for humanity. He has called on nations to join forces in reducing emissions that contribute to global warming, preserving the environment, and conducting scientific research on the Earth’s icy ecosystems.
Macron stated that despite the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas, a collective effort is crucial in order to maintain global unity and cooperation.
The Paris Peace Forum, a yearly gathering of governments, non-governmental organizations, and other individuals working towards solutions for worldwide issues such as climate change, online violence against children, and human rights violations, was addressed by the French leader.
According to Macron, the cryosphere, which includes frozen water on Earth such as glaciers, is facing significant damage due to climate change. This is causing widespread concerns globally.
According to Macron, the most immediate and noticeable consequence is the melting of the ice caps, which poses an unprecedented challenge for humanity.
The melting of ice surfaces around the world has various consequences such as affecting biodiversity, causing sea levels and coastlines to rise, and contributing to limited access to drinking water, migration, increased release of CO2, and the potential for a new pandemic, according to the speaker.
Macron stressed the validity of all these dangers and urged for immediate collaboration.
“Recurring conflicts in the Middle East and other regions have made our relationships delicate. However, we must strive to collaborate harmoniously.”
Leaders, officials and representatives from approximately 40 countries participated in the Paris summit, with China among them. Russia was not extended an invitation, despite having a portion of the Arctic within its borders.
The states have issued a request for action to tackle the effects of human activities on climate change and the loss of biodiversity, specifically caused by the melting of ecosystems. Additionally, the attendees of the summit have formed a top-level committee to address the potential consequences of the melt on coastal communities dealing with increased sea levels, as well as diminishing water supplies in mountainous areas.
Ruth Mottram, a scientist specializing in climate at the Danish Meteorological Institute, expressed approval for the proposal of joining forces in scientific research in the polar regions. However, she noted that Russia’s conflict with Ukraine has caused interference with these efforts.
Mottram stated in an email that it is difficult to envision any possibility of establishing normalized relations until the war has ended, and even then it may not be seen as desirable.
She stated that the disappearance of glaciers and ice sheets would have consequences for vulnerable communities, even beyond the polar regions. This can be seen through the rise in sea levels, highlighting the importance of comprehending the entire earth system.
Before Macron’s statement, Miriam Jackson, a climate scientist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu, urged politicians to heed the advice of scientists and the public and take action to make necessary changes.
She stated that the effects of melting glaciers are experienced by billions of people through rising sea levels, floods, and unpredictable river flows.
According to Jackson, the rapid warming of our planet has a significant human influence and it is our duty to try and mitigate or even reverse these changes.
Studies have shown that glaciers in mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Himalayas are rapidly melting due to rising temperatures. It is estimated that many of these glaciers will completely disappear by the end of the century.
Although the decrease of glacier mass caused by human-induced climate change is currently irreversible, experts suggest that significant reduction in the use of coal, oil, and gas – which contribute to global warming – could potentially mitigate the melting in the long run.
The situation is equally concerning at the Earth’s poles. Due to global warming, the Arctic is experiencing a rapid decline in sea ice as it weakens and vanishes. The icy Antarctic has also witnessed significant melting of its ice sheets, disappearing glaciers, and unusually warm temperatures as the planet continues to warm up.