What exactly is the melting ice?
The melting ice is a problem that we have been facing for quite a while now. It is when big chunks of sea ice or glaciers start to melt into the water. It is a natural occurrence, but it has been getting steadily worse due to climate change.
Where is this happening?
Glaciers, ice sheets & sea ice in and near Antarctica, the Arctic & Greenland have been melting. The Arctic sea ice that forms during the winter has decreased every year since 1979. Glaciers - as well as huge ice sheets covering Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic - are shrinking.
What causes it?
The melting ice is believed to be caused by global warming. Global warming is when the earth gradually gets hotter. The world’s average temperature is rising on average 0.13C per decade. This is twice as quickly as in the previous century. Polar regions are warming twice as fast as other parts of the world.
Who is affected?
In fact, everyone will actually be affected by the melting ice. Primarily, the wildlife species living on the ice that is melting will lose their habitat, causing them to become endangered or extinct. This in turn could disrupt the food chain which would affect humans.
Between 1901 and 2010, the average global sea level has risen by 19cm. This means that areas near the coast are more at risk from flooding. Weather patterns can also become worse, as natural disasters (such as hurricanes and typhoons) will occur more often. If all the ice that existed on the earth in glaciers and ice sheets melted, the sea level would rise by around 216 feet. This could cause entire states and countries to disappear under the waves - from Florida to Bangladesh!
How much ice has been melting?
A great amount of ice has melted over the years, but the amount has been increasing rapidly. On the first of August 2018, 12.5 billion tons of ice melted from the Greenland ice sheet in one day! Also, a study from NASA, an average of 400,000,000,000 tons of ice melts per year!
We all need to unite and collaborate to achieve the targets of the Paris Climate
Agreement. This aims to stop the global temperature from rising more than 2ºC above the levels that existed before the Industrial Revolution - and to try and limit it to below 1.5ºC. Good news is that we have already started to become aware of how serious this issue is. In fact, a funeral was held for the first glacier that ever melted in Iceland - the Okjökull Glacier.
We need to spread more awareness so that we can together save the melting ice. Let’s use the power of the hashtag to spread this message: #savetheice.