Many frightening facts have been published about climate change, but increasingly shocking pieces of data keep coming to light again and again. Recently, an international study has shown that along with the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps, glaciers are also losing a tremendous quantity of ice.
In the course of the study, the variations in the thickness of the ice in more than 19 thousand glaciers around the world were modelled. The measurements shed light on annual variations, while satellite data also allowed the total ice loss over several years or decades to be determined.
The study has shown that
The glaciers in the Alps, in Caucasus and in New Zealand have also lost a great deal of water, but due to their relatively smaller surface areas, they played less of a role in the rising level of the oceans.
In total, the glaciers of the world lose 335 billion tonnes of water per year, which contributes 25-30 percent to the current global rise of sea levels.
“Ice is the canary in the global coal mine. It’s the place where we can see and touch and hear and feel climate change in action.” Internationally recognised nature photographer James Balog believes it is extremely important to pay attention to the processes underway in the polar regions.
Rising sea levels caused by climate change and global warming are an increasing threat to the Netherlands, so the Dutch have started using an innovative device, a storm surge barrier to protect against them. The world’s largest storm surge barrier was built in the south of the country, at Maeslantkering.
The melting of glaciers has broken new records in Switzerland this year; they lost two percent of their ice mass this summer, while over the last five years, they have lost 10 percent of their volume altogether, which is unprecedented in the existing records spanning over 100 years.
The typhoon raging in Japan has claimed more than fifty lives; the number of injured has exceeded two hundred.
As a result of climate change, humanity is expected to face growing numbers of destructive storms in the future.
The rising sea levels and melting permafrost caused by climate change are causing crisis situations in a number of places around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of people having to leave their homes, while important agricultural areas also fall victim to the changes.
Climate change is causing severe problems in Antarctica, too: recently, a piece of ice weighing 315 billion tonnes broke off the area, while scientists investigating satellite images covering an area of 5 million square kilometres found tens of thousands of meltwater lakes, which indicates severe problems.
Massive snowstorms hit a number of north-western and northern states of the USA on 29 September.
Monsoon rain accompanied by storms and lightning hit the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India on 27 September. Tempestuous winds toppled trees and utility poles and tore off roofs, killing more than a hundred people.
On 24 September, the Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountain Foundation) issued an avalanche warning on the Planpincieux Glacier, which is located on the eastern slope of the Grandes Jorasses peak.