BERKARYA.CO.ID – Eternal snow on the Jayawijaya Mountains, Papua Province, could disappear in three years, considering the rate at which ice is melting on Indonesia’s highest peak, Head of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Andi Eka Sakya warned.
“If (the melting trend) is not checked, then the ice layers on the peak of Jayawijaya will disappear by 2020,” he said here, Thursday.
The climate agency arrived at this estimation after it conducted a seven-year observation study to measure the speed at which ice was melting and the decline in its thickness due to global warming.
The last estimate on November 23, 2016, showed the ice thickness in Jayawijaya had shrunk by 1.42 meters since May 2016 and it is only 20.54 meters thick now. In 2015, the 4.26-meter decline in the ice thickness was mainly caused by a strong El Nino windstream, which lasted from May through November.
Considering the drastic rate at which the ice layers were thinning, averaging 1.05 meters since 2010, the BMKG has called on the local government and international community to help implement strategic measures to check the melting of ice on Jayawijaya.
According to Sakya, some of the measures would include putting an end to illegal logging and reducing carbon emissions. Indonesia’s Puncak Jaya is one of the three snowy peaks at the equator, the other two being in Africa and Peru.