Glacier on Mount Cilo melting fast due to climate change
“The Suppa Durek (Erinç) Glacier was 10 kilometers wide in the Ice Age. In 1948, its size was 4 kilometers, but our latest expedition showed that it shrank to 900 meters,” Ahmet Erkek from the Association told daily Milliyet.
A team, comprised of geography teachers, surveyed the swamps and reedbeds located at the 1,950-meter altitude as well as glacial lakes on the 3,800-meter-high Sat Mountains for five days to record the impact of the climate change.
The team later moved to the Cilo Glacial Valley to inspect the Gelyano Glacial Lake and talked with locals.
“The icecaps, glacial valleys and glacial lakes continue to be adversely impacted by the climate change. Locals told us that there were more icecaps at the summits of the mountains in the previous years. We observed that glaciers on the northern side of the Cilo Mountain had melted considerably,” Erkek said.
Noting that Sırrı Erinç, a Turkish scientist, back in 1948 reported that the size of the Suppa Durek was 4 kilometers, Erkek said that they observed a 75 percent loss in the glacier mass.
The melting of the icecap is so fast that it shrank from 1.5 kilometers to only 900 meters now, Erkek added.
“We believe all glaciers, except for the one on Mount Ağrı, in Turkey are suffering from ablation. Nano textile covers could be used to protect the glaciers in the Eastern Black Sea, Central Taurus Mountains and the Cilo from the sunrays. The Presena glacier in Italy is covered with sheets to protect it from the sun,” Mustafa Varol said.
“We must take some measures against glacial melting,” Varol stressed.
With its 4,135 meter-high Uludoruk peak, Mount Cilo is the second-highest peak in Turkey behind the legendary Mount Ararat, offering scientists an opportunity to observe the impact of climate change.
During the five-day expedition, the team from the Turkish Geographical Association visited the Sat Mountains, Mount Sümbüldağ, Mount Mor and Mount Cilo and the rivers such as the Zap Creek, which form deep valleys on those mountains, and collected fossil and rock samples for their studies.