The Earth's glaciers are losing 390 billion tons of ice and snow each year, a study has confirmed. Scientists agree it's because of climate change.
According to the recent study published in the scientific journal Nature, the melting rate of the glaciers is much bigger than previously believed.
They are now shrinking five times rapidly now compared to the 1960s, and compared to the calculation of an international panel of scientists in 2013, thousands of inland masses of snow compressed into ice are shrinking 18 percent faster.
Clearly Climate Change
The recent study is headed by Michael Zemp, director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service at the University of Zurich. According to him, the glaciers will not survive the century if the current rate remains the same.
"Over 30 years suddenly almost all regions started losing mass at the same time," says Zemp. "That's clearly climate change if you look at the global picture."
The study is the most in-depth measurement of all the glaciers to date. To achieve the results, Zemp and his team used satellite and ground measurements to accurately measure 19,000 glaciers. Based on their calculations, only southwestern Asia is not affected by the rapid glacier shrinking, which, according to Zemp, is because of their regional climate conditions.
Rising Sea Levels
The study found that 9.6 million metric tons of snow and ice are melted since 1961, resulting in sea levels rising as well. The study claims that the amount of the melted snow and ice is enough to cover the lower 48 U.S. states in about 4 feet of water.
Although the rapid melting of the world's glaciers is a big factor in rising sea levels, the main cause is that oceans are getting hotter and hotter, making water expand more. It's a serious threat to coastal cities. Flooding is also going to be a major problem during storms.
Earth On Steroids
A similar study was also published on Monday in the online scientific journal Environmental Research Letters headed by Jason Box, a scientist for the Danish Meteorological Institute. It suggests that the Arctic is warming 2.8 times faster than the other regions in the Northern Hemisphere and that it is also rapidly becoming more wet, cloudy, and humid.
"It's on steroids, it's hyperactive," says Box.
Man-Made Climate Change
The current climate change is caused by burning fossil fuel, which includes coal and oil. It emits a large amount of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, which in turn is making the temperature of the oceans higher.
It's a grave global problem and something that should be taken care of before it's too late. Scientists are hoping that more people become aware of the implications of global warming because if the Earth loses all its ice and glaciers, the planet would be uninhabitable.