An international study of the melting potential of the world’s two largest glaciers has revealed that it could contribute more than 40cm to global sea level rise by 2100 – with catastrophic impacts.
Massive glaciers, including Antarctica and Greenland, contain large amounts of frozen water, which, if released into the oceans, would raise global sea levels by about 66 meters (220 feet), but sea level rise would also contribute to the partial melting of the ice due to climate change.
A team of more than 60 scientists from 36 companies around the world have predicted changes in Greenland and Antarctic glaciers between 2015 and 2100 under the latest global warming conditions.
The team used 14 different models to estimate the changes in ice under two different greenhouse gas emission paths: a pessimistic situation, no change in current trends, leading to a rapid increase in emissions; And a promising environment in which comprehensive measures will be taken to reduce emissions.
The goal of the research was to estimate how much of the massive loss of ice sheets would contribute to the rise in average sea levels beyond what was already in motion.
By 2100, the study found that the Greenland ice sheet would raise sea levels by 4 to 14 cm in unfavorable conditions, but only 1.5 to 5 cm in optimal conditions.
For Antarctic ice, the results range from a change of ice sheet that lowers sea level to 7.8cm, to a 30cm increase in desperate conditions, to an increase of 0 to 3cm in optimistic conditions.
Under certain conditions, there was a possible decrease in sea level due to some specimens indicating that the amount of ice added to the Antarctic ice would be greater than that lost by melting.
Professor Ralph Grave, an expert in ice and glacier research at the University of Hokkaido, who was part of a team that modeled the behavior of glaciers, said: “It is difficult to predict massive change from AIS (Antarctic ice).
“Rising sea temperatures will erode the bottoms of large floating ice shelves and cause losses, while increased snowfall due to warmer air temperatures could gain AIS mass.”
He added: “We continue to improve our understanding of glaciers and their relationship to the Earth’s climate system. Such as modeling intercompression studies [this] Rational decisions are an excellent tool for providing the community with the information they need, including uncertainties. ”
Research team, whose works are published in the journal Cryosphere, That said a wide range of estimates of how much melting can reflect the incomplete knowledge of melting that occurs at the bottom of ice shelves.
Ice Large These large floating areas of Greenland and Antarctica help the pen in the ice, keeping it on land and stopping it from melting into the ocean.
However, this ice is particularly vulnerable to warming seas. If they are to be lost, new forecasts indicate that the sea will rise “several meters” over the next 500 years.
Average sea levels have risen approximately 1880 to 23 cm. About 8 cm in the last 25 years.
As sea levels rise, even small changes can have significant impacts on coastal areas, affecting millions of people and coastal habitats.