UK scientists have spent the last 30 years creating an “inventory” and documenting ice and the results are rather shocking, Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice during that period.
They’ve concluded global heating is to blame.
These scientists have looked at satellite surveys of the planet’s poles, mountains, and glaciers to measure how much ice coverage lost triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions. The Leeds and Edinburgh universities and University College London scientists have described this loss as a “staggering” warning that the conclusions of their study show rising sea levels, triggered by melting glaciers and ice sheets, could reach a meter by the end of the century.
To put that in context, sea-level cities like Miami would have severe coastal erosion problems and outright complete flooding of seaside cities if the prediction models are to be believed.
“To put that in context, every centimeter of sea-level rise means about a million people will be displaced from their low-lying homelands,” said Professor Andy Shepherd, director of Leeds University’s Centre for Polar
Observation and Modelling.
The scientists are also concerned with the reduction of solar radiation back into space. The melting white ice is being replaced with the dark sea or soil exposed beneath, thus absorbing more heat and further increasing the planet’s temperature.
Additionally, the cold-fresh-water from melting glaciers and ice sheets are disrupting the natural health of the Arctic and Antarctic waters.
“In the past researchers have studied individual areas – such as the Antarctic or Greenland – where ice is melting. But this is the first time anyone has looked at all the ice that is disappearing from the entire planet,” said Shepherd. “What we have found has stunned us.”
The level of ice loss revealed by the group matches the worst-case-scenario predictions outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he added.
“To put the losses we’ve already experienced into context, 28 trillion tonnes of ice would cover the entire surface of the UK with a sheet of frozen water that is 100 meters thick,” added group member Tom Slater from Leeds University. “It’s just mind-blowing.”
Their review paper clearly states “There can be little doubt that the vast majority of Earth’s ice loss is a direct consequence of climate warming, on average, the planetary surface temperature has risen by 0.85C since 1880, and this signal has been amplified in the polar regions,”.
The scientist’s results were published 30 years after the first assessment report of the IPCC was published, at the end of August 1990.
Under the Trump Administration, the United States has removed itself from the Paris agreement.