Climate change is probably one of this era's biggest debate, with an army of deniers claiming the phenomenon isn't real or does not pose legitimate harm to Earth, but overwhelming evidence shows the opposite.
For starters, humans have been burning fossil fuels for power, thereby continuously harming the planet's ecosystem. At this point, it's far too late to reverse some of the effects brought on by man-made climate change.
Point Of No Return
Researchers from the Universities of Bremen and University of Innsbruck claim it's now impossible to halt the ongoing melting of polar ice caps that is poised to happen this century. Humans can slow down the process, but that's all. Even if humans one day decided to reduce its pollution output, ice reserves will still end up tremendously reduced by 2100.
Small human activities affect the melting of glaciers. For instance, according to the researchers' calculations, a short drive in a medium-sized car could cause 1 kilogram of polar ice to melt.
Glaciers are also slow to respond to changes in climate. For example, if humans decided to preserve Earth's current glacier volume, "we would have to reach a temperature level from pre-industrial times, which is obviously not possible," said glaciologist Georg Kaser.
Another scientist, Ben Marzeion, says that the optimum scenario is for only a third of all polar ice melts before 2100. He said that around 36 percent of ice in glaciers would melt even sans greenhouse gas emissions.
"That means more than a third of the glacier ice that still exists today in mountain glaciers can no longer be saved, even with the most ambitious measures."
Crazy Ideas To Stop Melting Of Glaciers
Some scientists are suggesting pretty insane solutions to prevent total glacier meltdown, as Futurism reports. One idea is to create a wall and wrap it across the five-kilometer fjord in front of Greenland's Jakobshavn glacier. Its goal? To block warm water from reaching the sea.
There are other similarly desperate proposals in a Nature article scientists have laid out, and they all tell only one story: there's a need for crazy efforts precisely because the state of climate change is so bad that it warrants crazy ideas. One proposal even calls to create an archipelago of artificial islands to support most vulnerable West Antarctica glaciers and prevent warm waters from spreading.
These projects would most certainly cost billions of dollars and could affect the environment in various ways that humans can't predict entirely, but not doing anything will end up being costlier, they said.
"Without coastal protection, the global cost of damages could reach US$50 trillion a year," said the researchers.
"If the world does nothing, ice sheets will keep shrinking and the losses will accelerate." More importantly, even though "greenhouse gas emissions are slashed, which looks unlikely, it would take decades for the climate to stabilize."