The melting glaciers have become a reality since 1850. This phenomenon impacts the world on multiple domains such as mountain recreation, the habitat of animals and plants, and the level of the oceans. Scientists discovered that this natural event started at the same time with the increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. On the other hand, a new Australian team has been conducting research on whether or not there are other agents that contributed to this effect.
Doctor Sue Cook stated that even though 99% of glaciers are found in the polar regions only, they are an important issue for the entire humanity. Within their ice sheets, they contain a precious reserve of fresh water, and they actually carry up to three quarters of the total such resource available on Earth. This is why the future of Antarctic melting glaciers concerns everybody alike. In the next decades, there are high risks for a large portion of Earth’s ice to disappear which will lead to a serious sea-level rise.
If this phenomenon continues to develop at the same pace in the future, the sea level will gain 50 centimeters of fresh water by the end of this century. This situation will be devastating for cities built at low heights above the sea water. Thus, scientists conducted studies to understand the agents that accelerate the melting effects among polar glaciers.
Doctor Cook stated that there are two ways in which the Earth is losing its ice. First of all, there is the strong connection between snow falls and the ice melt. As snow falls on the upper layers each year, glaciers are gaining in volume. However, as they are moved away by their weight, they are going to enter in contact with the ocean. At this point, they are surrounded by warmer waters, and they lose its volume.
Secondly, research in Greenland proved that there is another agent that is different from the effects of global warming. These findings conclude that ice sheets lose most of its volume due to meltwater. This liquid is of a vivid blue hue. However, it is not staying on the surface forever. Instead, it is sneaking down the cracks and fissures to end up flowing under the ice. This divide and conquer technique forces ice sheets to open up due to pressure. When the meltwater reaches the base, it will lubricate it to flow smoother and faster.
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