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Water for millions at risk as glaciers melt away

The world's glaciers and ice caps are now in terminal decline because of global warming, scientists have discovered. The loss of glaciers in South America and Asia will threaten the water supplies of millions of people within a few decades, the experts warn.
A survey has revealed that the rate of melting across the world has sharply accelerated in recent years, placing even previously stable glaciers in jeopardy. Georg Kaser, a glaciologist at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, who led the research, said: "The glaciers are going to melt and melt until they are all gone. There are not any glaciers getting bigger any more."

One of the first impacts of glacier melting is likely to be in South America. In August, a report from 20 UK-based environment and development groups warned that Andean glaciers are melting so fast that some are expected to disappear within 15-25 years. This would deny major cities water supplies and put populations and food supplies at risk in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia.

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