General, Research, Technology

When the tropical glaciers disappear completely

Everyone knows that in the tropical latitudes quitehot, but even in such a warm climate there is a place for real glaciers. Scientists call them tropical glaciers, and these rather unusual objects are located on the slopes and peaks of local mountain ranges. However, this wonderful and beautiful phenomenon may very soon disappear from the face of the Earth. At least, this is what a fresh study of a group of American scientists says. And, frankly, in the area of ​​the latest news on global climate change, there is practically no doubt about it.

Glaciers are melting. And this is a huge problem

When will tropical glaciers disappear?

Glaciers on top of the mountainPunchak Jaya, located on the western half of New Guinea, has been melting for many years. This is stated by one of the authors of the new work, Ohio State University professor Lonnie Thompson. At the same time, melting quickly increased in the period 2015-2016 due to El Nino. This is a phenomenon that causes tropical ocean water and, as a result, the surrounding air temperature to heat up.

El nino are natural phenomena andrepeated from time to time, but their effects were intensified by global warming. The latest research suggests that tropical glaciers will disappear in the next 10 years. Most likely, this will happen during the next El Nino. Have you heard about such a natural phenomenon? Write about it in our chat in Telegram.

It is likely that other tropical glaciers,located in Tanzania and Peru, the same fate awaits. About 75 percent of Indonesia’s glaciers disappeared in just nine years. I think that what is happening in Indonesia is an indicator of what will happen around the world. - says Mr. Thompson.

Thompson and his team watched the glacier with2010, when they drilled ice cores to determine the composition and temperature of the atmosphere around the glacier. Scientists noticed that even then the glacier was decreasing. This melting began at least 150 years ago, but accelerated only in the last decade.

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During the 2010 drilling expedition, the teaminstalled in the ice a column of PVC pipes connected by a rope. This was necessary in order to measure the speed of melting ice. It was found that the speed is about one meter per year.

The rate of melting of the glacier grows exponentially, -says Professor Thompson. This is similar to the spread of an incurable disease in the human body, when he fades before our eyes and nothing can be done about it. Water absorbs more heat energy from the Sun than snow, so increasing the amount of water at the top of the glacier heats the glacier even more. If you want to "kill the glacier", then just put water on it. Water goes straight through the ice to the bedrock. Because of this, when water begins to accumulate at the top of the glacier, the glacier begins to melt much faster.

Yes, this photo shows in yellow the place where there was ice in 2010

But why is melting glaciers bad? Globally, melting glaciers is one of the main factors in rising sea levels, which, along with the warming of ocean waters, can lead to more frequent and more intense storms. Thompson said mountain glaciers around the world "contribute from a third to half of the annual sea level rise in the oceans of the Earth."