JAKARTA – The eternal snow in Puncak Jaya, Papua continues to melt and is expected to die out faster. According to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), this is being caused by a number of conditions, one of which is climate change.
The climate change crisis is supposedly the main cause of the eternal melting snows in Puncak Jaya. The situation was exacerbated this year by the El Nino phenomenon which accelerated the melting of the ice cover in Puncak Jaya.
“The ecosystem around the eternal snows is becoming vulnerable and threatened. Climate change is also impacting the lives of local indigenous communities who have long depended on the balance of the region’s environment and natural resources,” said the head of the BMKG, Dwikorita. Karnawati, as quoted by BMKG official website, Wednesday (23/8/2023).
Dwikorita said that since 2010, the BMKG Research and Development Center (Puslitbang) together with Ohio State University, USA, have been conducting studies related to paleoclimatological analysis based on ice cores on Puncak Jaya Glacier.
As a result, since the observations were made so far, the ice cover at Puncak Jaya has melted and is heading towards extinction. In 2010, the ice thickness was estimated to reach 32 meters, and in 2010-2015, there was an ice thinning rate of 1 meter per year. Then, when there was a strong El Nino in 2015-2016, the ice thinning reached 5 meters per year.
What is the impact?
BMKG climate expert Donaldi Sukma Permana, who led the study on the impact of climate change on glaciers at Puncak Jaya, said that over the period 2016-2022, the rate of ice loss was around 2. 5 meters per year. In 2022, the ice cover area will be approximately 0.23 square kilometers and will continue to melt.
“Another real impact of melting ice in these mountains is that it contributes to global sea level rise,” he added.
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