The speed has “doubled over the past two decades,” according to a new study.
A new study published in the Nature journal just last April 28, Wednesday, tells us that glaciers are melting at an alarming pace than we’ve ever known before. Case in point, scientists said that the glacier melt has “doubled over the past two decades” – which is way faster than originally anticipated.
Entitled “Accelerated global glacier mass loss in the early twenty-first century,” the study reported that glaciers from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are “shrinking rapidly, altering regional hydrology, raising global sea level, and elevating natural hazards.”
The researchers used NASA satellite datasets from the year 2000 to 2019 and they further shared:
“Using largely untapped satellite archives, we chart surface elevation changes at a high spatiotemporal resolution over all of Earth’s glaciers. We extensively validate our estimates against independent, high-precision measurements and present a globally complete and consistent estimate of glacier mass change.”
So far, the scientists are having a hard time determining the exact measurements of the glacier mass loss but they estimate we are losing at least 31% of snow and ice each year compared with 15 years ago.
Meanwhile, in a media interview, Professor Andrew Mackintosh of Australia’s Monash University warned:
“Sea level rises have been accelerating and this study shows that glacier melt has been one of the main contributors to this acceleration. And looking forward, I guess it’s not good news. Glaciers got a bit of inertia so once they start to melt, its a bit hard to stop them…
“What we do in terms of future climate change emissions is going to make a big difference to the trajectory of glaciers and if we curb emissions dramatically, then we’ll still lose about another 20% or 30% of the ice that we have but if we continue to burn fossil fuels in a fairly unconstrained manner then ice loss will be much greater at more than 60%. In some parts of the world, by 2100, most of the glacier ice will be gone.”
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