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Melting of Glaciers Are Happening Faster

A new study shows that the speed of Glaciers melt has doubled over the past two decades which is faster than anticipated. This study was published in the Journal Nature. The authors utilized multiple NASA satellite datasets dating back to 2000.

Researchers obtained accurate measurements of Glaciers melt, or glacier mass loss, which has been difficult. Glaciers are found in incredibly remote or inaccessible locations, meaning that only a few hundred of the over 200,000 glaciers are routinely monitored.

They utilized the satellite datasets from NASA, by which they were able to show that Glaciers lost roughly 5,073 gigatonnes of mass from 2000 to 2019 — or 11,180,000,000,000,000 pounds. That’s roughly the equivalent of 553,465,346 Eiffel Towers. From 2000 to 2019, the rate of glacier melt accelerated from an estimated .36 meters per year to .69 meters per year.

Authors acknowledge that Glaciers melt has contributed to an estimated 21% of sea-level rise since 2000 which is almost a quarter of an inch. They discovered that the most rapid increase in melt took place in Alaska, western Canada and the United States. In New Zealand,are believed to have melted at almost seven times the rate between 2015 and 2019 compared to the turn of the century.

Reduction in global is one of the most direct consequences of a warming planet and one of the key indicators of climate change. Researchers did not study the cause of the  melting, they did indicate that the areas where Glaciers shrunk experienced changes in long-term precipitation and temperature, which are consistent with climate change.

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