What should Canadians know about glaciers melting?

February 08, 2022 08:45 PM AEDT | By Team Kalkine Media
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  • The changing climate is affecting the size of glaciers and reducing it faster than it did in the past.
  • Some scientists observed that new lakes have formed due to glaciers melting.
  • Glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere have been retreating approximately 390 square kilometers a year since 2000

A new study has reported that Mount Everest’s glaciers are melting due to climate change. Some researchers from the University of Maine claimed that the South Col Glacier has lost 180 feet in thickness. They said that ice that formed over 2,000 years has melted away and the reason behind is the continuously rising temperatures and strong winds. 

The Himalayan range and other glaciers in the area and around the world are a source of water on which millions of people depend. But if the glaciers decline at a continuous rate, then there could be a reduction in water for drinking, water for irrigation, hydroelectric power, and other uses.

Like Mount Everest, glaciers in Canada are also melting and facing similar issues. Some Canadian scientists reported that glacier melting in Antarctica could cause an increase in sea levels that would not only impact Canadians but the whole world. In this article, we will learn how glaciers melting is impacting Canada and what Canadians should know about this.

Canadian glaciers

David Holland, a physical climate scientist and a director of the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory reportedly spoke about glacier melting and estimated that melting glaciers could be a warning signal for the coasts of far-off Canada.

The changing climate is affecting glacier size and reducing it faster than in the past; such as the small glaciers on Vancouver Island. Also, marine-terminating glaciers are disappearing in the northern hemisphere.

Holland will study the troubling challenges in the Thwaites glacier, a vast Antarctic glacier in Pine Island Bay. Some termed Thwaites the “doomsday glacier.”   However, Holland has been researching Thwaites for the past decade. But this year he is expected to measure sea ice and water temperatures by staying at base camp for a month. 

From his study, Holland will estimate how changes in Thwaites’ size can be a reason for rising sea levels and how the rising temperature in the ocean could cause it. For measuring the salinity, temperatures, and disturbance in Pacific waters, 20,000 tonnes of drilling gear will be used.  

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Some researchers in their journal articles mentioned that rising earth temperature and rising water temperature could reduce the ice of the Florida-sized Thwaites’ glacier.

Holland said everything will be affected by glaciers melting in Antarctica and the increase in sea level could impact Atlantic Canada.

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What other scientists have to say

According to Holland, the quicker Thwaites melts, the sooner sea-levels will be higher and impact coastal cities in Canada, including Victoria.

In another study, University of Northern British Columbia’s geologists reported that glaciers are losing their thickness and declining, on average, seven times faster than in the previous decade in British Columbia. 

Some scientists observed that new lakes have been formed due to glaciers melting. Brian Menounos, a professor of the Geography Program and a researcher of glacier change in Canada presented his concern about glacier melting possibly accelerating unstable slopes being exposed.

Alexandre Bevington, a Ph.D. candidate, stresses the fact that the melting glaciers could disappear in 70 years so it should be a matter of concern and a wake-up call for all politicians and Canadians.

Will Kochtitzky, another Ph.D candiate, reported that glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere have been retreating approximately 390 square kilometers a year since 2000. According to his study, glaciers in the Greenland Ice Sheet have lost nearly 60 per cent of the total area.

Also read: 7 Canadian stocks combating climate change

What can be done to stop the glaciers from melting?

Image credit: © 2022 Kalkine Media®

Bottom line

Sea levels and global stability are dependent on glaciers. But the glaciers are melting at a faster rate than before. Its disappearance means less freshwater and sea-level rise.

So, it’s a matter of concern for all the scientists, researchers, politicians, and other people who rely directly on glaciers. So, to protect glaciers from melting, everyone needs to do their part to save natural resources, try saying no to plastics, spread awareness, and use resources wisely.

Also read: Will crypto industry’s carbon offset save the climate?


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