Why Are Melting Glaciers Dangerous?
What is a Glacier And How Does it Form?
Glaciers are massive sheets of ice that have been around for thousands of years, having been compressed from large bodies of snow. Most of the glaciers around the world were formed during the last ice age and over thousands of years, they have been pulled down by gravity and other snow that piles on top of them and slowly becomes part of the glacier itself. These massive sheets of ice form part of the habitat for many different species that live in the south and north pole and they extend over hundreds of kilometres! One of the biggest issues of the climate crisis is the melting of these glaciers, and as they melt, many repercussions affect the entire planet and the lives of nearly every species on earth. Glacier melting is one of the largest concerns of this generation and we all must contribute to creating awareness around the issues that come with this climate crisis.
What Are The Causes of Glacier Melting?
As one of the biggest climate crisis issues of the 21st century, it is becoming more and more important than the causes surrounding these issues become known. The following are just a few of the facts about melting glaciers and the biggest causes that impact and increase glacier melting.
Burning of Fossil Fuels
As fossil fuels burn at an unprecedented rate and the build-up of greenhouse gases in the air trap heat and cause the earth’s temperatures to rise, this heat causes glaciers to begin to melt. One of the biggest melting glaciers causes is the burning of fossil fuels, and as temperatures rise at alarming rates and global warming impacts melting glaciers and increase the speed at which they are thawing, sea levels will only rise at faster rates. Reducing the number of fossil fuels that are burnt and decreasing the number of greenhouse gases that are trapping heat within the atmosphere is vital if we are going to reduce the speed of glacier melting.
Oil and Gas Drilling
Drilling for oil and gases releases not only the elements that we need, but it also leads to other more harmful substances being released into the air, one of these substances is methane. This type of gas is even more harmful than carbon dioxide as it locks in more heat and increases the rate at which global warming occurs.
Trees are an extremely important part of any ecosystem, producing oxygen and providing spaces for animals and insects to live. Trees help to reduce the rate at which heat builds up in certain areas and with them being cut down to make way for human industry, their cooling effects have been reduced all over the world. Along with not allowing for the cooling effects to work, trees are also responsible for turning carbon dioxide into oxygen and this leads to further greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere and effectively trapping in more heat.
Ice Breaking Ships
Ice-breaking ships go up to the arctic and Antarctica every year and make their way through thick pockets of ice, breaking them up as they go. Ice is very good at reflecting the sun’s rays, keeping areas like the arctic and Antarctica cooler than the rest of the world. As ice-breaking ships make their way through these areas and break up the ice, there is less to reflect out into the atmosphere, and water is not as good of a reflector compared to ice. This causes these areas to heat up faster than they would have the ice not been broken down.
Why is Glacier Melting Dangerous?
As glaciers melt, they release hundreds of thousands of litres of water into the oceans, slowly leading to a rise in sea levels. With this, there is a far higher chance of land sizes being reduced and even chances of flooding in high lying areas that release more and more water. The consequences of melting glaciers are unprecedented and the effects will impact both the lives of animals and the lives of humans from all over the globe. Melting glaciers’ effects on animals are particularly profound, with entire ecosystems and habitable environments being destroyed, leaving those creatures that once survived on these galciers with disturbed living and feeding environments.Melting glaciers have many severe impacts, and if not reduced it could lead to a change in the way animals and humans live and function.
What are The Effects of Glacier Melting?
The effects of melting glaciers are catastrophic, not just for animals but also for human beings. Changes in the ways that ecosystems work lead to species dying out or searching for new ways to function.
How Does Glacier Melting Affect Animals?
Melting glaciers’ effects on animals are astronomical and these effects are not just for those animals who live and survive on glaciers, but it impacts wildlife all over the world. As sea levels increase due to the melting ice breaking off into the ocean, changes in ecosystems all over the world lead to animals having to adapt to their new surroundings or face extinction. Both the consequences and causes of melting glaciers affect animals and plant life, with even the smallest microorganisms being impacted.
How Does Glacier Melting Affect Humans?
As sea levels rise, coastal areas from all over the world are slowly disappearing, particularly low lying coastal towns and cities. As sea levels increase and land disappears, there are fewer places for humans to live and farmlands may soon also start to be impacted as well. With fewer places to live and less farmland where crops and foods can be grown, this crisis could change life as we know it in a very short amount of time.
What are Solutions To Solve Glacier Melting?
As melting glaciers cause climate change, it is important that we come up with solutions that can slow the unprecedented rate at which this climate crisis occurs. Melting glaciers solutions involve decreasing the number of greenhouse gases that are emitted in the air, slowing down the rate at which industry produces and releases harmful gases. As one of the leading causes of glacier melting and global warming, stopping the processes that have proven to release copious levels of these gases is the best way to solve and slow the speed at which glacier melting occurs.