Melting Glaciers Have Reached the Point of No Return, Climate Scientists Warn

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 - 1:44PM
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 - 1:44PM
Melting Glaciers Have Reached the Point of No Return, Climate Scientists Warn
< >

Day by day, hour by hour, humanity continues to doom itself.

We've long since stopped passing points of no return with regards to man-made climate change. As we continue to burn fossil fuels for power, we're increasing the damage that's being done to our planet's ecosystem, and by now, it's far too late to prevent some of the major global damage that we'll be seeing in the coming years.

According to researchers from the Universities of Bremen and Innsbruck, it's now no longer possible to prevent the continued melting of the polar ice caps that will occur this century. We can slow the process down by changing our behavior, but even if everyone immediately turned off all our gas-guzzling, polluting technology, we'd still end up seeing significantly reduced ice reserves by the year 2100.


This isn't to say that we should throw up our hands in defeat and double down on our wasteful ways simply because we can't avoid destruction - it's still possible to reduce the damage, slow the oncoming climate disasters, and ensure that our grandchildren aren't stuck in an entirely hostile environment of our creation.

According to glaciologist Georg Kaser:

Opening quote
"Glaciers react slowly to climatic changes. If, for example, we wanted to preserve the current volume of glacial ice, we would have to reach a temperature level from pre-industrial times, which is obviously not possible. In the past, greenhouse gas emissions have already triggered changes that can no longer be stopped. This also means that our current behavior has an impact on the long-term evolution of the glaciers—we should be aware of this."
Closing quote


What's particularly embarrassing is just how much small actions can affect global warming. The scientists have calculated the impact of something as innocuous as driving a short distance in a medium-sized car, and the results show how this is a problem that we're all creating together.

Based on a new, medium-sized car registered in Germany in 2018, traveling just 500 meters (1640 feet) will cause one kilogram of polar ice to melt.

According to scientist Ben Marzeion, the best case scenario is that only a third of all polar ice melts before 2100:

Opening quote
"Around 36 percent of the ice still stored in glaciers today would melt even without further emissions of greenhouse gases. 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."
Closing quote


Unless we can find a huge reserve of ice somewhere among the stars in order to pull off the Futurama cure for global warming, we're in a lot of trouble. It's also important to point out that these calculations are based on us not producing any more carbon dioxide, which is obviously not going to be the case.

Bit by bit, mile by mile, our cars are wrecking the environment. Our electronic devices, heaters, lights, and other modern conveniences are slowly killing our planet, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

Around 36 percent of the ice still stored in glaciers today would melt even without further emissions of greenhouse gases. That means more than a third of the glacier ice that still exists today in can no longer be saved, even with the most ambitious measures

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-glacier-mass-loss.html#jCp
Science
NASA