It’s no secret that most of the ice on our planet is concentrated at the South and North Poles – in the “upper” and “lower” caps of the Earth. In other regions, it is simply too warm for permafrost to exist. You can imagine how much water is “stored” in these glacial reserves. But there is a problem: because of the nature of human actions harmful to the nature, the temperature on the planet is growing, and the glaciers are beginning to melt. And if they melt, we are unlikely to be able to regain their ice form. And the planet will end.
Take, for example, the Antarctic ice sheet. This is the “upper” cap of the Earth (if you look at a regular map). It contains 61% of all fresh water on Earth. If it melts, the World Ocean – that is, all the connected seas and oceans of the planet – will rise by 60 meters. This is approximately 20 floors. All coastal cities will disappear under water, like many tropical islands. The most luxurious resorts of the Earth will cease to exist. Terribly, if you imagine.
The Tueits Glacier is a huge block of ice (48 times Moscow’s area), which is located in the western part of Antarctica. As a result of climate change, this glacier began to melt rapidly. Remember what happens with ice cream: at first it resists thawing, but gradually it melts faster and faster, turning into slush. If in time to throw ice cream in a natural habitat – in a freezer – process will stop and it will keep the form. If not, you will have to freeze a puddle. This is exactly what happens with the Tewates glacier: it is close to engaging in irreversible melting.
Scientists have found that this process can lead to the fact that the glacier will “float” into the open sea, will melt entirely and lead to an increase in world ocean level by 50 centimeters. And the other Antarctic glaciers will follow the Thweits glacier. With this will begin the global catastrophe.
Alex Robel, an assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, says that if the glacier goes into this unstable state in which it can never return to ice form, then even if the temperature rise on Earth stops, the glacier will melt anyway in 150 years. This means that your great-grandchildren will not be able to rest in the Maldives or in the Crimea: everything will be in the water.
At the moment, the underwater part of Antarctica is very poorly studied, and scientists can not say exactly what will happen to the glaciers. They say that at the current rate of warming, Antarctica will melt in 200-800 years. The total loss of the West Antarctic Shield will lead to the fact that the level of the seas and oceans will rise by five meters.
We could try to change the climate artificially, but this attempt can lead to even greater problems and precisely put an end to a happy human existence. Read how scientists are trying to come up with a model of successful climate change and how they fail.