A new study reports that glaciers are melting at an accelerated rate. Researchers discovered that they lost nearly 270 billion tons of ice in the first two decades of this century.
A team led by a Frenchman has assessed the behavior of almost all ice flows on our planet. The meltwater they release accounts for a fifth of the global rise in sea levels. To illustrate the numbers, researcher Robert McNab of the Universities of Ulster and Oslo uses the BBC a comparison: “Over the past 20 years, we have seen glaciers lose about 267 gigatons per year. So if we take this amount of water and distribute it over the Irish island, that is enough to cover the island. Three meters of water every year. ”
The loss is currently 267 gigatonnes per year, but this is increasing. It’s growing at 48 gigatons per decade. The team used images from NASA’s Terra satellite as a primary source.
The global reservoir of glaciers contains 217,175 ice flows of varying sizes. What brings them all together is that they are weakening and retreating to a changing climate. Sometimes this is caused by melting faster in warmer air, but it is also possible that the snowfall in the area is different and thus the glacier recharges less.
A similar study from the University of Leeds came to a similar study in January. They recorded an annual loss of 289 gigatons and an acceleration of 52 gigatons per contract. Thus the numbers of the two research groups are close to each other. There is an 8 percent difference.
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