The melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating at a rapid pace. For that’s according to a new study published in the journal Nature. The study also found that the ice sheets are now losing ice at a rate six times faster. I mean than they were in the 1990s. This is a dire warning for our planet. Especially as the melting ice sheets could cause sea levels to rise by up to three meters (10 feet) by the end of this century.
The Acceleration of Ice Sheet Melting
The study, which combined satellite data from four different missions, found that Greenland and Antarctica lost a total of 6.4 trillion tons of ice between 1992 and 2017. The rate of ice loss has been accelerating over this period, with the ice sheets losing 335 billion tons of ice per year in the 2010s, compared to 81 billion tons per year in the 1990s. The study also found that the melting of the ice sheets is responsible for almost a third of global sea level rise.
The Consequences of Rising Sea Levels
First of all, the consequences of rising sea levels are far-reaching. Most importantly and potentially catastrophic. Coastal cities and communities are at risk of flooding. More surprisingly, low-lying areas could become uninhabitable. In addition, the displacement of millions of people. For it could also lead to social and economic instability. I mean the loss of biodiversity and ecosystems. This will have devastating effects on the planet.
The Causes of Ice Sheet Melting
The melting of the ice sheets is caused by a combination of factors. I mean including rising global temperatures, warming oceans. Also, changes in atmospheric circulation. The burning of fossil fuels and other human activities have contributed to the increase in greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to global warming.
The Urgent Need for Action
The study’s findings underscore the urgent need for action to address the causes and consequences of climate change. Governments and individuals must take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in renewable energy sources, and implement measures to adapt to the impacts of rising sea levels.
First of all, the melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica is a dire warning for our planet. In addition, the acceleration of ice sheet melting is causing sea levels to rise at an alarming rate. That’s with potentially catastrophic consequences for coastal cities and communities.
In conclusion, the causes of ice sheet melting are largely the result of human activities. Finally, urgent action is needed to address the root causes of climate change. We must act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in renewable energy. Moreover we must adapt to the impacts of rising sea levels. Our planet and future generations depend on it.
- Rignot, E., et al. “Four decades of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance from 1979–2017.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116.4 (2019): 1095-1103.
- ‘Devastating’ melt of Greenland, Antarctic ice sheets found | AP News