Over the past 30 years, the number of melting ice has increased six times

Scientists estimate that, compared to the 1990s of the 20th century, the amount of melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica has increased six times. Caused by the melting of glaciers, an increase in the level of the World Ocean by 2100 can cause annual seasonal floods in the regions where about 400 million people currently live.

In total, from 1992 to 2017, 6.4 trillion tons of ice melted from the ice cover covering Greenland and Antarctica with a thickness of several kilometers. As a result of only these events, the level of the World Ocean rose by almost 2 cm with a general increase of 7.7 centimeters over this period.

At first glance, 7.7 cm is an insignificant figure, however, despite the fact that the increase in the level of the World Ocean is not as clear as natural disasters like landslides or hurricanes, in the end, it is the increase in the level of the World Ocean that can become the most destructive of all consequences of climate change.

The study was based on information obtained over several decades from satellites, as well as local measurements and computer simulations.

The study said that in less than three decades, the total number of melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica has increased six-fold - from 81 to 475 billion tons per year.

According to the forecasts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if the peak of greenhouse emissions occurs around 2040 (RCP 4.5 scenario), by 2100 the sea level may rise by 50 cm. If humanity accomplishes the incredible and reaches “carbon neutrality” by the middle of the century, the sea level will rise by 43 cm. With the worst-case scenario, implying that the amount of greenhouse emissions does not change, we will observe an increase in ocean level of 84cm.

Over the past ten years, the level of the oceans has risen by 4 mm per year. However, closer to the beginning of the 22nd century, even according to the most optimistic forecasts, this process will occur ten times faster.

The glaciers of Greenland and West Antarctica, which, according to many scientists, have already passed the point of no return, when melted, are able to raise the level of the World Ocean by 13 meters. Another, more stable part of Antarctica is covered with ice, as a result of melting of which the sea level can rise by 50 meters.

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