A planet without glaciers? Have you actually think about it?

The emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have become the major reason for this.


What are glaciers and how it form?

When snow remains in the same area glaciers begin to form, where enough snow accumulates to transform into ice. Around 70% of the world’s fresh water is in glaciers. Glaciers are massive blocks of moving ice that arise as snow accumulated in cold places. Glaciers can be categorized according to,

1) Morphology – valley glaciers, ice fields, cirque glaciers, etc

2) Thermal condition – cold, hot, or polythermal base

3) Climate –  polar, tropical, or template

Why do glaciers melt?

Increasing the temperature of the Earth is the major reason for glacier melting. The emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by vehicles, factories and other human activities cause glaciers to melt heavily. Not only that many other climatic changes are involved in this process. Oceans absorb 90% of Earth’s warm and it will affect the melting of glaciers.


Effects of glacier melting

Over the past three decades melting of the glacial layer has increased by increasing the rate of ocean growth by 30%.

Sea level rise

Since 1961 glacial melting has contributed to the rising sea level by 2.7 cm. If all the glacial melts it will increase the sea level by nearly half a meter.

Reduce the level of fresh water

Glaciers are made out of fresh water. The disappearance of the glacial layer will reduce freshwater levels that can be used for agriculture, hydroelectric energy.

Disappearance of species

Glaciers serve as a natural habitat for numerous animal species. Melting of glacial layers will directly affect these species and extinction of those species can happen.

Climatic impact

Slowing the ocean currents can happen due to glacial melting and this will affect extreme weather conditions.


Solutions to avoid glacier melting

Scientists believe that still we have time to save the glacial layer and they suggest several methods for this.

Stop climate changes

To stop climate changes the emission of carbon dioxide should be reduced. For this, we can shift to eco-friendly energy methods. More and more plants should be planted and deforestation should be minimized.

Slowdown the erosion

Scientists suggested building special kinds of long dams to reduce their rapid erosion.

Increase the thickness

The University of Arizona proposed a method to increase the thickness of the glacier layer. Collecting ice from the below of the glacier and freeze them in the upper parts to increase the thickness was done in this method

Use artificial icebergs

Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha, an Indonesian architect suggested a method to collect water from melting glacial and re-melting them.

Feature image by Robert Bye on Unsplash

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