A dense body of ice, usually on the move, primarily over land, is known as a glacier. When a large amount of snow accumulates for an extended period rather than melting, a glacier is formed with variations in size and length. They are essential in the water cycle and supply of the area. They appear to influence their volume, quality, and variability. Glacier melting can lead to a rise in sea levels, leading to coastal erosion and dangerous flash floods. Global warming is among the top reasons for the melting of glaciers at a very high speed, as discussed.
In recent years, there has been a significant change in the glaciers. For instance, the Arctic sea ice has not only thinned, but its extent has been reduced by more than 10% over the past 30 years (Alaxanian, 2019). Moreover, the Thawing permafrost has subsided by 15 feet in Alaska, Peru, Switzerland, and Jaya in Indonesia (Alaxanian, 2019). Worse still, the melting of the ice is taking place at a very high rate and significant destruction on the earth.
Notably, the primary cause of glacial melting is Global warming which occurs when heat and air trap and absorbs heat from sunlight and solar radiation. This causes climate change, resulting in the melting and receding of glaciers (Roger, 2020). Human-produced activities in industries and factories, greenhouses result in emissions of various gases and pollutants into the atmosphere (Roger, 2020). Burning of fossils, deforestation, and activities in the transport industry are contributors to global warming as well. Global warming occurs gradually, affecting oceans, the earth’s atmosphere, and the surface (Damilo, 2017). This causes an increase in temperatures over the oceans and atmosphere, which then causes the melting and receding of glaciers.
Glaciers over the past two decades have continued to shrink and decrease entirely. The total loss keeps on accelerating over the years, thinning and retreating over the land and into oceans and rivers. Greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emitted by human activities account for this loss by a significant percentage (Roger, 2020). Glaciers are about ten percent of the earth’s surface, accounting for nearly seventy percent of the freshwater (Damilo, 2017). They are essential, for example, in the production of hydroelectric power, irrigation, and a direct reflection of the effect of global warming.
Glacial melting causes a rise in sea levels, impacting the climate causing by extreme weather events. Moreover, the other problems that glacial melting include reduced freshwater for both irrigation and human consumption, habitat destruction, and the disappearance of animal species, both aquatic and terrestrial (Damilo, 2017). This can be prevented by stopping climate change and global warming, slowing down erosion, combining artificial icebergs, and increasing the thickness of the icebergs and glaciers to maintain their consistency.
Furthermore, global warming is the leading cause of the melting of glaciers and at a speedy rate. Carbon dioxide and air pollutants increase the global temperature, which adversely affects the glaciers responsible for almost twenty-one percent of the rising sea level (Roger, 2020). Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, global warming and its effect have been on the rise, affecting nature negatively.
Conclusively, proper interventions by nations and governments can provide better alternatives hence be able to preserve the natural glaciers and the species inhabiting them. In managing the melting of glaciers due to climate change, aspects of nature are looked into indirectly, including the additional climate changes.
Alaxanian, J. (2019). Melting of the glaciers and sea ice. Web.
Damilo, G. (2017). Glacier evolution in a changing world. Croatia: Books on Demand.
Roger, L. (2020). Principles of glacier mechanics, third edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.