Climate crisis: global ice loss is increasing rapidly, study finds

According to research, ice is disappearing throughout the planet, indicating that between 1994 and 2017 there was a loss of 28 trillion tons.

Scientists found that the rate of melting had increased from 0.8 trillion tons per year in the 1990s to 1.3 trillion tons by 2017.

The total snow lost in that period is equal to the ice sheet that covers the entire UK.

It has contributed 3.5 cm to the global sea level during that time, increasing the risk of flooding in coastal communities and threatening to destroy precarious habitats.

Global warming has led to an increase in ice losses, with atmospheric temperatures (0.26C per decade since the 1980s) and over two-thirds of the total driven by 32% rising ocean temperatures (0.12C per decade).

According to the study – the first survey of global ice loss using satellite data – there has been a 65 percent increase in the rate of snow loss over a period of 23 years, mainly due to a steep increase in damage from polar ice sheets. Is inspired. Antarctica and Greenland.

“In every area we studied the lost ice, but the damage from the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets has increased the most,” said lead author Dr. Thomas Slater, a research fellow at the Leeds Center for Polar Observation and Modeling.

“The ice sheets are now following the worst-case climate warming scenarios set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Rising sea levels at this level will have a very serious impact on coastal communities of this century. “

The survey covered 215,000 mountain glaciers that span around the planet, polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, floating ice shelves around Antarctica, and sea ice flows in the Arctic and Southern Oceans.

The biggest losses came from Arctic sea ice (7.6 trillion tons) and Antarctic ice shelves (6.5 trillion tons), which both float on the polar oceans.

Half of all damage was from ground ice – including 6.1 trillion tons from mountain glaciers, 3.8 trillion tons from the Greenland ice sheet, and 2.5 trillion tons from the Antarctic ice sheet. These losses have raised the global sea level to 35 mm, and it is estimated that approximately 1 million people are at risk of being displaced for every centimeter of sea level rise.

Dr. Isobel Lawrence, a research fellow at the Leeds Center for Polar Observation and Modeling, said: “One of the major roles of Arctic sea ice is to reflect solar radiation back into space that helps keep the Arctic cool. As sea ice shrinks, more solar energy is being absorbed by the oceans and atmosphere, causing the Arctic to heat up faster than anywhere else on the planet.

“Not only is it rapidly melting sea ice, it is also accelerating the melting of glaciers and ice sheets causing sea levels to rise.”

Despite storing only 1 percent of the Earth’s total ice volume, glaciers have contributed about one-quarter of the global ice loss in the study period.

The report’s co-author and PhD researcher Ines Otosaka said: “Along with contributing to sea level rise globally, mountain glaciers are also important as a freshwater resource for local communities.

“The retreat of glaciers around the world is therefore important on both local and global scales.”

The research was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council led by the University of Edinburgh, University College London and the University of Leeds with the help of data science experts Earthway and has been published in the journal of the European Geoscience Union. Cryosphere. An example of the research was published last August.

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