The world is debating whether the climate change is real or not. The melting of the glaciers is a concrete evidence that climatic changes in the atmosphere are taking place. Glaciers are considered as an important indicators for climate change and global warming. There are approximately 160,000 glaciers found on earth. Around 40+ have been monitored. The observations are clearly indicating that glaciers are disappearing. As the temperature is rising, these large bodies of ice are losing mass, driving up sea levels and reducing feeding and breeding grounds.
A recently published study has revealed that weight of these glaciers is causing the bottom of the ocean to sink. The study conducted by the research team at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands has found that melting of glaciers causes net increase in ocean load due to which the seabed is sinking by 0.13mm per year for the past two decades. The findings reveal that there is the total depression at 2.5mm.
The findings are considered as significant as these are indicating how global warming is physically changing the shape of the planet. Geoscientist Thomas Frederikse said that the climate change is changing the earth physically and earth is not a rigid sphere, it’s a deforming ball.
Another study suggests that if no efforts are made to curb global greenhouse gas emissions, two-thirds of the glacier ice in Asia’s high mountains could vanish by 2100. The study suggests that though mountainous regions have snowy exterior yet they warm up at a faster pace than the surrounding low-lying land as global temperatures rise. Philip Kraaijenbrink – a PhD student and lead author of this study explained this that snow reflects up to 90 percent of the incoming radiation, which means it has a high albedo. This means that more energy stays at the Earth’s surface. So, more melting of the ice.
The study uses mathematical modelling to investigate how the ice stored by Asia’s glaciers will fare under a range of future global greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. The melting of the glaciers depends on its “mass balance”. The glaciers which lose more mass because of melting than they gain from snow, shrink. Based on this this model, the researchers ran simulations of a world that was 1.5C warmer than pre-industrial levels and find that Asia could lose around one third of the ice stored in its glaciers by 2100.
These studies are strongly suggesting that global warming has tremendous impact on the glaciers. The emission of greenhouse gases trap earth radiation and prevents it from getting reflect. Owing to this, the temperature of the earth surface is increasing, causing atmospheric changes in the earth’s ecosystem. This increase in the temperature also results in the melting of the glaciers. There are several ecological and environmental concerns posed by the melting of snow and ice like disturbing the marine food chain, Massive flooding, etc.