Glaciers lost ice the size of Europe’s tallest mountain in 10 years | climate
Glaciers have melted rapidly in recent years. Between 2010 and 2020, no less than 2,720 gigatonnes of glacier ice disappeared, or 2,720,000,000,000,000 kilograms. This is equivalent to 2% of all glacial ice in the world. Especially in 2011 and 2019 a lot of ice melted.
British scientists have measurements from the European ice satellite CryoSat-2 to calculate the amount of glacier ice lost.
The loss was greatest in Alaska. There, 831 gigatonnes of ice disappeared. 466 gigatonnes were lost in the Canadian Arctic. In addition, a lot of glacier ice has melted in the southern part of the Andes Mountains, in the Himalayas, near Greenland and on the Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen.
“In total, that’s 2,720 gigatonnes of glacier ice. Think of it as a gigantic icicle, bigger than the tallest mountain in Europe,” says one of the researchers.
The main culprit is the higher air temperature. It is responsible for 89% of ice loss, according to the European space agency ESA. The remaining 11% can be attributed to warmer seawater at the end of the glaciers.
Melting glaciers not only cause sea levels to rise, but can also cause problems for people who rely on meltwater, according to the ESA.
“Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator.”