World Conservation and Wildlife Trust

Fighting to protect the World's Marine Life, Wildlife, Biodiversity and Population.

Rapid glacier melt causes concern

Written by Robin Johnson, RHN.


In today's society increasing concern for climate change and global warming has risen greatly for good reason. Glaciers melting have increased, causing higher sea levels and catastrophic effects on earth. In South East Greenland over the last 20 years temperature has risen by 5.4 degrees. This sudden rise in temperature has caused impacts on sea level and added effect to climate change. As the recent television series "Frozen Planet" concluded with Sir David Attemborough giving the finale an edge with some shocking facts on Glacial Melt and global repercussions of it, it really made the world think, and rightly so. The glacial ice reflects some of the worlds suns UV rays, but due to rising greenhouse gas emissions causing the greenhouse gas effect making the worlds climate more hostile, sea temperatures have risen which has led to the drop in glaciers and caused serious glacial melt, therefore the suns rays cannot be reflected and the sea around the polar regions is left to absorb more heat, so its is a double barreled effect. Glacial retreat is at its peak, which shows the clear fact that human impacts on the planet are leading to an uncertain future.

 Antarctica alone it covers 7 million cubic miles of ice and is, in places, 60 miles thick, if this were to melt the global sea level would rise by 230 feet. This scale of rise is phenomenal and would be enough to swamp all low lying countries and islands. If we look at the statistics it is clear to see that Antarctic ice cap barriers, the "Cork" of a wine bottle as it were, which stops the Antarctic ice sheet melting into the sea is in fact breaking up and becoming destroyed due to rising sea temperatures, leaving us on the edge of a catostrophical breakdown in the world's ice. 

However we are not the only ones being affected. Ice dependant animals are left without a habitat to thrive as the ice is melting and new species normally found in much warmer waters are making their new home in these previously cold polar regions. The future is uncertain if these glacial regions melt, but one thing is for certain, the way we are polluting if we continue the way we are, we will face tremendous flooding and a tremendous change in climate.

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