Ismail Sarı – ISTANBUL
If global warming continues at this rate, all glaciers in the Türkiye Mountains will permanently melt, says Yıldırım Güngör, associate professor at Istanbul University.
The expert pointed out that there has been significant melting of the ice on the top of Mount Ağrı, which has the largest ice cover in Türkiye extending from south to Öküz (Ox) stream in Doğubayazıt district province. from Ağrı and from north of the Cehennem (Hell) valley in the province of Aralık district of Iğdır.
“As someone who has climbed the mountain more than 20 times in the past 36 years, I can easily recognize it,” said Güngör, who has undertaken reconnaissance expeditions on glacier mountains. “The melting of the ice in the valley is visible even at 4,400 meters [14,435 ft].”
“Those who climb Mount Ağrı, which has a glacier on its summit, especially in summer, should definitely be careful of the widening of the ice cracks,” he urged.
Small amounts of glacier milk, which is water from glaciers containing rock particles giving it a cloudy appearance, in Öküz stream have been observed frequently for years, while landslides caused by melting glaciers occur in the Cehennem stream every few years, Güngör said, pointing out that all these events are signs of the rapid melting of Mount Ağrı’s glaciers.
“In 1985, when I started mountaineering, there were large glacial masses at Mount Erciyes [in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri]. Now they are almost gone,” Güngör said.
“Mt. Suphan [in the eastern province of Bitlis], on the other hand, no longer has a glacier but a piece of glacier at the top. Massive glacier melts are also seen in the central and eastern Taurus Mountains [in the eastern Mediterranean] and the Kaçkar Mountains [in the Black Sea region]“, said the expert, adding that the impact of global warming on these collapses is enormous.
The Kapuzbaşı waterfalls in Yahyalı district of Kayseri, whose main source is the glaciers of the Yedigöller plateau, will dry up in a short time if the melting of these glaciers continues at this rate, according to Güngör.
“The Mount Cilo Glacier [in the southeastern province of Hakkari] continues to melt rapidly, but there is no clear information yet on the extent of the melting,” Güngör added.
The expert noted that the probability of an avalanche disaster, as in Italy, is very low, but such a risk can be encountered when climbing glaciers on the northern slopes of mountains, for example, in Kaçkar and Cilo .
It is not possible to reverse this situation, according to Güngör. “Because we have experienced glacial melts that would take place in a thousand years for the past 50 years.”
“Future plans should consider how we can adapt to changing conditions,” he added.