Carstensz Pyramid is a location in the karst mountains and has significance for Indonesia and the world. Even though it has stunning views, climbing this mountain requires a high fee. In 1992, snow in Puncak Jaya reached an area of 3,300 ha.
The snow is in the karst mountains. In general, Papua’s karst areas are located on the ridges of the central hills with an altitude of 3000 – 4500 meters above sea level. This area also marks the extent of karst distribution in Indonesia.
With global warming, the location of the Carstensz Pyramid Peak, which is covered in snow, is decreasing. What are the Impacts of Puncak Jaya Snow’s Loss on Indonesia?
The Impacts of Snow’s Loss in Puncak Jaya
Lost Perpetual Ice Icon in The Tropics
The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) revealed the impact that would occur if the eternal snow on the peak of Mount Jayawijaya, Papua, melted and became extinct. The first impact that will happen is that Indonesia will lose the tourist peak of Jayawijaya Peak as a character or characteristic of Papua. The effect, among others, is that Indonesia will lose the icon of eternal ice in the tropics. Puncak Jaya, with its eternal snow, is the target of climbers from within the country and abroad.
Increase in Sea Level Rise
The impact that will occur if Papua’s ice peaks become extinct is quite worrying. This is because the melting of ice in Puncak Jaya has contributed to an increase in sea level (sea level rise), although it may not be significant. After all, the area of ice is not too large. However, this still has an adverse effect on Indonesian waters. In the last 20 years, Puncak Jaya’s ice area has steadily decreased to 2 km2 in 2002, 1.8 km2 in 2005, 0.6 km2 in 2015, 0.46 km2 in March 2018, and 0.34 km2 in May 2020.
Puncak Jaya Snow’s Loss to Local Tribe
Puncak Jaya also has an impact on the cultural side. Why is it also affected from a cultural perspective? Because around Puncak Jaya, there are tribes that consider Puncak Jaya ice as a sacred place. The loss of ice will have an impact on the local tribe. With global warming as it is today, in 2025-2027, the ice on the top of this mountain will likely become extinct.
It Affects The Life of Flora and Fauna
Another impact that may occur due to Puncak Jaya Snow’s Loss is that the life of flora and fauna around Puncak Jaya’s ice is disturbed. However, this must be explored further to determine more clearly how significant the impact of melting ice is on the life of the surrounding flora and fauna. Global warming is the initial and primary factor in reducing ice in Papua.
Accelerates Shrinkage Rate
The after-effect of melting Papua’s ice has also accelerated the shrinkage rate. Among other things, because the temperature is rising, the rain that used to fall as snow on top of the ice is now falling as rainwater and eroding the ice. The ice melting makes the rocks around the ice broader and darker in color. The rock’s surface absorbs more heat, melting the ice from the sides and bottom.
That is the Impact of Puncak Jaya Snow’s Loss on Indonesia. Even though we cannot avoid the extinction of the ‘eternal glacier’ or ice at the peak of Jaya Papua, we can at least slow it down and do mitigation to prevent a big impact if this event does happen. Slowing this extinction process can be done by reducing activities that cause an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.