(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of scientists found that glaciers around the world began to melt faster, losing 31 percent more snow and ice per year than 15 years ago. The reason is climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels. This is reported in an article published in the journal Nature.
Researchers analyzed satellite data and calculated that 220,000 mountain glaciers have been losing more than 298 billion tons of snow and ice annually since 2015. This volume of water is enough to cover Switzerland with 7.2 meters of water. At the same time, the rate of melting from 2015 to 2019 increased by 71 billion tons per year compared to 2000-2004. Half of the world’s ice sheet losses occur in the United States and Canada.
According to scientists, the rate of ice melting in Alaska is one of the highest in the world: the Columbia Glacier is retreating by about 35 meters per year. However, glaciers are melting all over the world, even in Tibet, where they were considered relatively stable. Only Iceland and Scandinavia have several glaciers that are increasing in mass due to increased precipitation.
Experts predict that shrinking glaciers could be a disaster for millions of people who rely on them as a source of water, and rapid melting could cause deadly outbursts of glacial lakes, for example, in India.
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