Thousands of scientists each year turn to a broadthe public with a request to finally recognize the reality of global warming and the threat it poses to the future of our civilization. Yes, we are not immortal. For many years, scientists have tried to understand the reason why the Mayan civilization disappeared without a trace. You will probably be surprised, but one of the key factors that precipitated the fall of the Maya was a series of prolonged droughts, as well as the consequences of their own actions - the Maya changed the ecosystem in which they lived for their own benefit (just like you and me today). Indeed, if environmental changes are not controlled, human actions can lead to deforestation and other problems, such as melting glaciers. Recent evidence suggests that the melting of West Antarctica's largest glacier could cause sea levels to rise by 2100. But the saddest news is that the widest glacier in the world can completely melt within three to five years.
How the sapiens changed the planet
According to scientists and politicians, the world is on the vergeplanetary crisis due to rapid climate change. Indeed, the Earth has been warming up rapidly since the start of the industrial revolution. Compared to 1850, the average surface temperature of the planet has increased by about 1.1 degrees Celsius. Moreover, each of the past four decades has been warmer than any of the previous ones since the mid-19th century.
But how did scientists come to this conclusion?Everything is "simple": an analysis of millions of changes collected in different parts of the world showed that the jump in temperatures on Earth coincided with the onset of the industrial era. Computer simulations have also played an important role: climate models are used to show what would happen to temperature without the huge amount of greenhouse gases emitted by humans.
Greenhouse gases that trap solarheat are the crucial link between temperature rise and human activity. Burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees emit carbon dioxide CO2, experts say.
How do you like that? In 50 years, the number of weather-related natural disasters increased fivefold... The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are rapidlymelt; sea level has risen by 20 cm in the last century and continues to rise; Since the 1800s, the oceans have become about 40% more acidic, affecting marine life. And this is just a small part of the problems that we faced.
For more information about what is happening to the oceans of the Earth and what the rapid climate change can lead to, read our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site!
But back to our glaciers, the loss of the icethe cover of which is increasing. Research shows that if global warming reaches about three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, there will be a dangerous rise in sea levels. Thus, in the Arctic, the snow cover in June of this year was the lowest since the beginning of observations in 1967. This increases the likelihood of forest fires such as those that have ravaged Siberia over the past few years.
The researchers also reported that the ice coverGreenland today is one of the fastest growing ice massifs on Earth. And the Antarctic Thwaites Ice Shelf could crack altogether. This, as experts explain, will lead to the fact that "a glacier the size of Florida will slide into the ocean and raise the sea level by at least sixty centimeters."
Erin Pettit, professor at the University of Oregonstudies the dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets. She believes there could be a dramatic chain reaction in the ice by 2031: if the shelf breaks apart, the glacier's contribution to sea level rise could eventually increase by as much as 25%.
Higher ocean temperatures, in partcaused by anthropogenic climate change are destroying the eastern ice shelf. And the Arctic is warming up more than twice as fast as the rest of the globe. "Thwaites Glacier, 120 kilometers long and the size of nearly the UK or the US state of Florida, if disappeared, could raise sea level by 65 cm," - said on December 13 at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans. Its melting now is responsible for approximately 4% of global sea level rise.
Sea ice helps slow warming by reflecting most of the sunlight falling on it.
According to satellite images, the glacier stands onan ice shelf that is prone to collapse due to recently discovered surface cracks and massive fracture along the shelf. You could even say that scientists are in solidarity with each other: the glacier is collapsing as a result of rising ocean temperatures, which are partly caused by anthropogenic climate change.
More on the topic: Earth's oceans heat up like five atomic bombs fall into them every second
A world without ice: is it time to sound the alarm?
“On the other side of the ice dome that crowns the Earth,the rise in temperature makes the tundra greener and more lush. Garbage from passing ships pollutes the shores. Forest fires scorch the once permanently frozen lands of Siberia, ”- such is the picture that scientists drew in their latest assessment of the Arctic, the warming of which has led to a number of problems.
A new report on the state of the Arctic highlightsalarming and persistent global warming trends in the region. Thinning sea ice has already led to an increase in debris and noise pollution that can affect the movement and health of marine mammals. Researchers speculate that the final collapse of the ice shelf could occur "in just 5 years" and we will never see the Thwaites Glacier again.
Thwaites is "the widest glacier in the world"which has doubled its churn rate over the past 30 years. If the Thwaites collapsed, it would carry most of the ice in West Antarctica with it. Therefore, it is imperative to get a clearer picture of how the glacier will behave over the next 100 years, ”said Ted Scambos, Senior Research Fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Environmental Science Research.
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All in all, a series of scientific studiesThwaites has shown in recent years that this huge glacier is melting faster than anyone expected. In 2019, scientists discovered a cavity under the glacier almost ten kilometers long and about three hundred meters deep. "This means that Thwaites has already lost 14 billion tons of ice," NBC News reported, citing the study. Scientists also warn that forecasts underestimate the impact of climate change on sea level rise.
Maybe it's time to use comets assource of ice? In the animated series Futurama, this is exactly how the issue of ice deficit was solved. Do you think we will be able to stop melting glaciers and rapid climate change, or is it time to prepare for the worst? We will wait for the answer here, as well as in the comments to this article.