Melting mountains are a “time bomb” for global water supply

Rising global temperatures are causing glaciers and mountain snow to melt earlier in the year than usual, scientists warned on Monday, meaning water supplies have already gone when millions of people need them during the summer.

"This is just a time bomb," Reuters reported hydrologist Carmen de Jong as saying in Vienna. "In some areas where the glaciers are small they could be gone in 30 or 50 years time and a very reliable source of water, especially for the summer months, may be gone.

" De Jong was referring to parts of the Mediterranean, where her research is focussed, but she said this threat also applies to the entire Alps region and other global mountain sources.

Those areas most at risk from a lack of water for drinking and agriculture include parts of the Middle East, southern Africa, the United States, South America and the Mediterranean.

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