There has been a rapid melting of many glaciers all around the planet. The cause of this occurrence can be traced back to human activity.
Near particular, since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions have elevated temperatures, which have risen even higher in the poles.
As a result, glaciers are rapidly melting, calving off into the sea, and retreating on the land surface.
When it comes to sea ice, 95 percent of the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has already melted away, according to the International Polar Year.
Scientists predict that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unabated, the Arctic might be completely devoid of ice in the summer by the year 2040, as ocean and air temperatures continue to rise at an alarming rate.
The Physical Consequences of Arctic Ice Melting Have an Impact on Sea Level and Salinity:
The melting of ice and rising waters will have an impact on sea levels, salt levels, current and precipitation patterns, among other things.
Coastal Communities Are in Risk Because:
- Since 1900, the global average sea level has risen by approximately 7-8 inches, and the situation is becoming worse.
- Coastal flooding and storm surge are exacerbated by rising sea levels, putting coastal towns and small island nations at risk.
Global Food Security:
- Polar vortexes amplify heat waves, and the unpredictability of weather brought on by ice loss is already wreaking havoc on crops that are critical to the world’s food supply.
- Loss of Methane Storage: Permafrost (earth that has been frozen for an extended period of time) in the Arctic region stores significant volumes of methane, which is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change.
- The loss of arctic ice will accelerate the melting of permafrost, which will accelerate the loss of arctic ice. This will result in a vicious cycle that could lead to a global climate catastrophe in the future.
Threat to Biodiversity:
- The melting of Arctic ice threatens the region’s thriving biodiversity, which is particularly vulnerable in the mid-latitudes.
- Effects of Antarctic Glacier Melting on the Environment
- Antarctic ice sheets are the greatest contributors to global sea-level rise, accounting for about a quarter of the total.
- As a result of the rising sea levels, coastal erosion has also risen in frequency and severity.
- The warming of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has the potential to exacerbate the effects of climate change.
- Hurricanes and other coastal storms become more frequent as a result of sea-level rise, with warm air temperatures and warm ocean temperatures working together to increase the frequency of coastal storms.
- The extinction of a species
- Species are also under danger of extinction. Many land and sea animals rely on glaciers for their natural habitats, and as they disappear, so does the diverse array of ecological life that they protect and maintain.
Ocean currents Are Being Disrupted:
- The melting of Antarctic glaciers will result in a slowing of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which will result in the disruption of the Gulf Stream.
- It would also have an effect on the west wind drift.
The solution to all of this is self-explanatory. It is in humanity’s best interests to recognise the melting of the Arctic ice cap and glaciers as a serious global problem and to take appropriate action.
Policies for climate change mitigation must be implemented with rigour and consistency.
If CO2 emissions can be lowered significantly over the next ten years, glaciers may still be able to survive. It is possible that more targeted interventions will be required.