Researchers from NASA and the University of California (Irvine campus) have recently detected the fastest ongoing glacial retreat rates ever observed in Western Antarctica, saying the ice sheet directly contributes to rising sea levels and may be in a state of irreversible decline.
2. Argentina / Paraguay
The section of the Pilcomayo River dividing Paraguay and Argentina is facing its worst drought in almost two decades. Crows perched on tree branches have become a common sight, and alligators, dead and alive, are seen stuck in the mud on the river bed.
Austria’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research has conducted measurements to assess the rate at which glaciers in the Austrian Alps, including the Outer Mullwitzkees Glacier pictured above, are shrinking in depth. The institute estimates the current rate to be 1.5 metres per year.
The 2015-16 El Niño phenomenon has devastated rural areas in Cambodia, including the farming and fishing province of Kandal. And while the region is desperate for water, scientists worry that the rains will cause floods during the planting season.
Sea ice in the Arctic regions is crucial to the survival of polar bears, but researchers have seen that the formation of ice during the winter has slowed down. In Hudson Bay the polar bear population has seen a 20 per cent decline over the last 30 years.
The pistachio industry, Iran’s second biggest export, has taken a turn for the worse with leaves turning yellow-green from salty water. Provinces including Kerman have been growing pistachio trees since the 17th century, but most farmers have already left.
Mount Everest’s Khumbu glacier has been receding in the recent years, with pools of water now a common scene at the base camp of the world’s highest mountain. The base camp, which sits on the glacier, has decreased by 12 metres in elevation in the last 50 years.
Heavy rain falling over snow continues to negatively impact the reindeer population in Siberia. In 2013 61,000 reindeers died after being cut off from their food supply, and such events are only expected to increase in severity.
22. South Africa
Lake St Lucia, located northeast of Durban, has almost completely dried out due to drought conditions. The World Food Programme also warned about a famine that could affect 50 million people in southern Africa, who rely on South African crops as a food source.
25. United States
The Mendenhall Glacier, a popular tourist attraction in Alaska, has retreated 30 metres in the last 10 years. The local visitor centre has made efforts to spread climate awareness by showing tourists photos of the glacier from the past 60 years.
Farmers in Zimbabwe have lost their produce as the country endured severe effects of El Niño this year. The United Nations Development Programme also estimated half of the country’s drought-stricken rural population will need aid by next year.