Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Connection between glaciers and climate change

Glaciers, or to be more precise glaciers melting, is one of the most obvious indicators of climate change. The main reason behind the rapid melting of glaciers in many part of the world has been the significant increase in temperatures.

The warmer temperatures cause glaciers to retreat, and the only thing that can compensate for the rapid melting of glaciers is increase in snow precipitation. In many parts of the world snow wasn't enough to compensate for warmer temperatures which has resulted in massive shrinking of many glaciers on our planet.

Glaciers need to be observed for at least a decade before science can speak of retreat or expansion of certain glacier and this is usually done by observing satellite images in a longer period of time.

The special organization called the World Glacier Monitoring Service collects each year a different data on glacier retreat and glacier mass balance. According to their latest reports in period from 1980 till now there has been a trend of serious glacier retreating after a stable period from 1920-1970.

The majority of scientists also predicts that glaciers will continue their retreat unless world comes to a global climate change agreement that would significantly reduce carbon emissions on global level.

By the current looks of it world is still very far from reaching the legally obliging international climate deal which spells huge danger for glaciers on our planet. Rapid melting of the glaciers will in years to come not only cause big sea level rise but also a serious water shortage because glaciers are a key source of water for many areas around the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment