For decades now, scientistswarn us that melting glaciers could put some of the world's major cities under water in the future. In 2019, we released an educational material that lists the areas that are most at risk of being flooded: the center of Chinese Shanghai, part of Thailand, one of the largest cities in Iraq and the financial capital of India. The cities of Russia were not mentioned in this list, so it seemed that we had nothing to fear. However, several years have passed since the compilation of this list, and climate warming can lead to the flooding of a much larger number of territories, including those located in Russia. Experts do not exclude that even the residents of St. Petersburg will feel the rise in the level of the world ocean.
- 1 Danger of melting glaciers
- 2 Thwaites Ice Block - Doomsday Glacier
- 3 Russian cities at risk of flood damage
- 4 Impacts of climate change
Danger of melting glaciers
Scientists warn us of melting glaciers andsubsequent risk of sea level rise very often. So, at the end of 2022, it became known that the glaciers of Greenland are melting a hundred times faster than previously thought. If they melt completely, global sea levels could rise by as much as several meters. Previously, scientists believed that the coast of the United States could be flooded as early as 2050. If Greenland's glaciers continue to melt rapidly, flooding could happen sooner.
Thwaites Ice Block - Doomsday Glacier
However, in addition to the glaciers of Greenland, there areother blocks of frozen water. Recently, the attention of scientists has been riveted to the Thwaites Glacier, which is also known to everyone as the “Doomsday Glacier”. It is located in West Antarctica and is comparable in size to the area of the US state of Florida. If it melts completely, it could negatively affect the stability of many other glaciers as well. In this case, the level of the world's oceans could rise by 3 meters.
The melting of a huge block of ice is veryquickly, and not only the increase in air temperature is to blame. Studies have shown that in its lower part there are a huge number of cracks into which warm water from previously found thermal springs penetrates. Because of this, it is melting at a rate of 30 meters per year. But this is not the only factor that increases the rate of its melting - in the future, the process may accelerate even more if the glacier floats across the expanses of the ocean.
To date, the Thwaites Glacier is supported bythe territory of Antarctica only due to the fact that on its lower part there are protrusions that slow down its movement. The most important of them is located at a depth of about 300 meters below the water level. If warm waters from thermal springs break its structure over time, the glacier can go out into the open spaces of the ocean, begin to melt faster and cause flooding of a huge number of coasts.
Terrible things are really happening with the Thwaites Glacier. More about what is happening to him, my colleague Andrey Zhukov recently told in this article.
Russian cities at risk of flood damage
Due to rising sea levels,suffer even the inhabitants of Russia. At least, candidate of geographical sciences Ruslan Sharafutdinov recently shared this opinion. According to him, there are a huge number of cities and even entire states in the world, the existence of which depends on the level of water in the oceans. In Russia, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don are under the threat of flooding. The risk is related to the fact that they are in close proximity to large waters.
Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk are considered the most flood-protected Russian cities. And all because the first is located at 127 meters from sea level, and the other - at 86 meters.
Climate change consequences
It should be noted that the rise in sea levelis not the only manifestation of climate change. In the future, people are at risk of being affected by extreme weather events such as hurricanes and wildfires. They made themselves felt especially strongly in 2018 - my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova even compiled a list of countries that suffered the most. Read her article and find out what the people of Japan, Germany, Madagascar and a number of other countries are facing.
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In 2023, the people of Turkey were hit hardand Syria - in February there were several powerful earthquakes. We also published articles on this topic. For example, this article details why these earthquakes were so devastating and caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people.