Global ice sheets melting at ‘worst’ rate: UK scientists | Climate news


The loss rate increased from 0.8 trillion tons per year in the 1990s to 1.3 trillion tons per year by 2017, with potentially disastrous results.

The rate at which ice is disappearing worldwide corresponds to a “worst-case climate scenario”, UK scientists warn in new research.

A team from the Universities of Edinburgh, Leeds and University College London said that the mountains in the polar regions of the world are melting and the mountains have increased significantly in the last 30 years.

Using satellite data, experts found that the Earth lost 28 trillion tons of ice between 1994 and 2017.

The rate of loss has increased from 0.8 trillion tons per year in the 1990s to 1.3 trillion tons per year by 2017, with potentially disastrous consequences for people living in coastal areas, he said.

“The ice sheets are now following the worst-case warming scenarios established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” said Thomas Slater, research fellow at Leeds University’s Center for Polar Observation and Modeling.

“Rising sea levels at this level will have a very serious impact on coastal communities of this century.”

Input from the UN’s IPCC has been critical to creating international climate change strategies, including the 2015 Paris Agreement, under which most greenhouse-gas emissions countries agreed to take steps to mitigate the effects of global warming .

The universities’ research, published in the European Geoscience Union’s journal The Cryosphere, was the first of its kind to use satellite data.

It surveyed 215,000 mountain glaciers worldwide, polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, floating ice shelves around Antarctica, and sea ice flows in the Arctic and Southern Oceans.

Artic losses, Antarctic

The survey found that the most damage in the last three decades was caused by Arctic Sea ice and Antarctic ice shelves, which both float on the polar oceans.

Although the loss of such ice does not directly contribute to the ocean’s rays, its destruction closes the ice sheets reflecting solar radiation, and thus indirectly contributes to the rising sea levels.

“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,” Isobel Lawrence said, A research fellow at the University of Leeds

“Not only is it rapidly melting sea ice, but it is also accelerating the melting of glaciers and ice sheets, raising sea levels,” he said.

An earlier study published in the Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, based in the US, estimated that global warming and greenhouse emissions could cause global sea levels to rise up to two meters (6.5 ft) by the end of this century.

The report also states that in the worst case scenario, global temperatures would be warmer than five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit), raising water to displace millions of people living in coastal areas.

Another study, published in 2019 by US-based Climate Central, said that by 2050, the devastation of floods could affect about 300 million people, nearly three times more than previously estimated. By 2100, this number can go up to 630 million.

The study warned that major coastal cities such as Mumbai in India, Shanghai in China and Bangkok in Thailand could become submerged in the next 30 years.

Research states that an estimated 237 million people grow from sea water and live in Asia alone.

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