Melting of glaciers: causes and consequences

Melting of glaciers: causes and consequences

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Melting glaciers, the evidence that the Earth's cooling system "is breaking down". We are not, however, at home, we cannot call a technician or curse him because he mounted it badly. The technicians are us, all of us, accomplices of global warming. But also protagonists of a kidney blow that can change future prospects. Just realize, reading here, how it is melting glaciers have very serious consequences for water resources of large areas. In practice, agriculture, industry and entire cities are already at risk, ready to be submerged: it is not a scenario thousands of years away, it is not a film.

Talking about it, and it's not the only one, is the WWF, for example, in an interesting report ('Boiling ice'), and rumors agree on the ongoing melting of glaciers and the most worrying tone is for the situation of the polar areas where the average temperature increase is double that recorded in the rest of the globe. While it melting glaciers continues, today the planet remains 40% covered by ice and snow coverings including the Arctic, Antarctica and the various alpine glaciers such as Himalaya, Patagonia, Alaska and our Alps.

Melting of polar ice

The polar ones are the ones that in the process of melting glaciers, the more they worry. In 2012, already, in Arctic, the summer marine ones were at their lowest position and the Arctic ice sheet continues to shrink dramatically. Pass on the frozen sea surface of theArctic it is not consoling given that the estimate on the rate of decrease is between 3.5 and 4.1% for each decade.

Not to be tragic, but realistic, numbers in hand, making a credible projection if the global warming were to continue at the pace we are used to today, in the summer at the North Pole there would not even be an icicle in the Arctic sea. Me too'Antarctica in 50 years it has “gained” 3 ° C with one melting glaciers which stole 87% of it.

Melting of Alpine glaciers

Also called "third pole" of the Earth, after the classical ones, to the North and South, as long as we recognize them, i alpine glaciers they have shrunk by almost 75%. This situation describes one melting glaciers “Distributed” over the entire earth's surface, not only at the poles, because they are involved, for example, in the Himalayas, Patagonia, Alaska, but also in the Caucasus and Urals, Kilimanjaro and Ruwenzori in Africa.

The melting of alpine glaciers it has peculiar consequences on the life of the planet and on ours, because they constitute the reservoir of fresh water during the summer and dry seasons. A fundamental wealth for activities such as agriculture and industry, therefore for human life. Just for it melting of Asian alpine glaciers 2 billion people will suffer from water shortages, including for example the inhabitants of India where India's 65% of agriculture is linked to the glaciers of the Himalayas.

Melting of glaciers in Italy

In the third cold pole of the Earth there are also our Alps, and so melting of alpine glaciers it fully involves them. We are by no means exempt from this phenomenon and from the negative trend, we are in the same boat: in the Alps we have gone from 519 km2 in 1962 to the current 368 km2, 40% less. The melting of alpine glaciers is under our eyes: our grandparents and us, we have known mountains "differently covered with snow". How will our descendants see them?

Melting of glaciers: consequences

Water resources, climate mitigation, ocean balance, greenhouse gas emissions: all this, and more, will suffer the consequences of the melting glaciers we are witnessing today. And for which we still have time to do something. What, we'll see in a few lines. In order not to leave an apocalyptic Hollywood scenario in your eyes, as if you only wanted to sow unmotivated terror, let's motivate it with the IPCC which, speaking of scenarios, at 2100 in the worst possible sea ​​level rise 52 to 98 centimeters.

Imagining it is already scary: it melting glaciers it would soon have strong, enormous repercussions on human societies. Just think, simply, that 60% of the population is concentrated on the coastal areas of the world, within 100 km from the coast. To be submerged along with the coasts, there are many cities that are at risk from the melting glaciers: Miami and New York, for example, but also Shanghai, Bangkok, Mumbai, London, Amsterdam, Alexandria in Egypt.

If not submerged, in any case 70% of the world's coasts will undergo strong changes and there are islands in the Pacific that we can begin to greet: continuing with the melting glaciers, they will disappear forever. The Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, could within 30 years, it depends on us.

Consequences of the melting glaciers they are also read by observing the climate of European countries facing the Atlantic, including Great Britain, Ireland, France and the Scandinavian countries. Accustomed to the Gulf Stream, they may have to do without it because with the change in the salt composition of the oceans caused by the melting glaciers, this gentle current that makes the climate milder may no longer exist.

Moving to the Arctic region, we also think of the 4 million indigenous inhabitants like Inuit, Yupik and Sami, who live in close contact with nature: they will see their balance with it break, compromise and compromise their lives.

Melting of glaciers: ripple effects

Secondly, there are non-negligible effects that the continuation of melting glaciers, for example on the global greenhouse effect which is further increased. And then on the food chain of many animals including whales and polar bears. In the areas directly threatened by the melting of the glaciers live 67 land mammals, 35 marine, 21,000 species of animals, plants and fungi that are a resource for all of us even if "from afar".

Without ice in 2050, two-thirds of polar bears could disappear, the Adelie penguin shrink by 75% in Antarctica and so on with walruses in Alaska. ptarmigan in the alpine peaks, flamingos in Chile. A serious loss of biodiversity.

Melting of glaciers: causes

All the main factors to which it can be attributed melting glaciers, linked to climate change, are linked to human activities. First of all, there is the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but aerosols are also on the rise, and it does not help the poor management of the earth's surface implemented by man. I'm talking about deforestation but also of intensive farming.

It is true that thegreenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon (that produces a temperature increase of about 33 ° C on the earth's surface) but human activity has increased the effect and the increase with consequences on the radiation balance and the Earth's surface energy partition. And thus causing it melting of glaciers, for example.

In recent decades, since 1750, there has been an increase in CO2 and methane, at the basis of the "human part" greenhouse effect, of 36% and 148%, respectively. This terrible fact is mainly linked to the use of fossil fuels but also to deforestation. To further contribute to the greenhouse effect and therefore to the melting of the glaciers, also the greater production of methane by fermentation that occurs in the farm.

Find the causes, it takes the reaction and the good news, the two good news, are that we have the alternatives, and we have time. Or rather, we are in time, but not for much longer. If we archive fossil fuels we have the renewables and clean to turn to and then we can begin to use energy and materials rationally and efficiently.

Melting of glaciers: video

After so many words, all that remains is to watch this video in silence. Without melting, but reflecting on what still can be done. It is in English, but there are no words to comment on it melting glaciers that disappear in silence, if we don't talk about them.

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Video: Glacier Calving, Huge Wave (February 2023).