The climate crisis is becoming more noticeable as many countries around the world experience weather-related catastrophes. Greenland’s ice sheets, for example, have already started to liquefy as a result of heat waves. If not addressed in a reasonable timeframe, global sea levels could rise by nearly a foot, threatening all life on Earth.
Unfortunately, scientists claim that even if all countries stop emitting planet-warming mechanisms instantly, sea levels will continue to climb. This is from a study published in Nature Climate Change, a scientific journal devoted to climate-related research.
According to the study, the melting of the Greenland ice sheets would cause sea levels to rise by at least 10 inches. Over the last century, this is the same volume of water level rise generated by Antarctica, Greenland, and thermal expansion.
The Geological Surveys of Denmark and Greenland discovered that meltwater runoff was the main cause of the meltdown. The scientists also discovered that 3.3% of Greenland’s ice sheets would melt quickly as a result of climatic factors. The percentage is equivalent to 110 trillion tons of ice, which, if melted, will potentially cause sea levels to rise dramatically, according to scientists.
Jason Box, the lead author of the journal and a scientist with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, said, “[The sea level rise from this melted ice will occur] regardless of any foreseeable future climate pathway this century. This water is technically already under the bridge.”
The journal’s authors did not provide a specific timetable for the eventual melting of the ice sheets, but they said that the process had already begun and assessed that it could end by the turn of the century.
“[The research was solely to estimate] a minimum, or a very conservative lower bound [of sea level rise from melting in Greenland] and in the virtually-certain event that climate continues warming, the sea level commitment only grows,” Box explained.
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The possible effects of the melting Greenland ice sheets
With rising temperatures, massive ice sheets like Greenland’s could melt quickly. The process is accelerated, however, because the temperature has also caused surrounding waters to warm, stripping away the sheet around its edges.
Over the next 30 years, the US coastline may grow by 10 to 12 inches over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As a result, high tides will happen more frequently, more than ten times per year. Additionally, during periods of heavy rain, storm surges will heighten and spread out more, resulting in danger to both people and property.
Scientists also stated that the volume of ice in Greenland, if completely melted, has the potential to raise global sea levels by 25 feet. They went on to say that the forecasted sea level would not be uniform across the globe. Instead, it will be irregular, with some areas faring worse than others.
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Disasters caused by climate change
Greenland is just one of the countries impacted by climate change. Temperature shifts have resulted in stronger monsoons, more frequent typhoons, unfavorable community conditions, energy shortages, and heat-related fatalities, among other things.
China’s hydropower plants have already been impacted, resulting in energy shortages in many parts of the country. In fact, authorities in Sichuan province have shuttered facilities in order to conserve energy.
Meanwhile, several corporate entities in the surrounding areas have already advised employees to adjust the air conditioning system in their offices to avoid straining energy plants due to high demand.
Over 33 million people have already been affected in Pakistan, with thousands more displaced.
A thousand people have died as a result of the heavy rains in Pakistani provinces, and the number could rise if the rains continue. Rains are expected to continue throughout the country, causing damage to roads, infrastructure, vegetation, and other structures.
Much of the United Kingdom is also undergoing extreme heat. France, for example, has been dealing with a slew of wildfires. Over two weeks ago, the French fire bureau called for volunteer firefighters to increase manpower in the face of multiple wildfires raging across the country.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.