Glaciers lose 335 billion tons of ice a year

Glaciers lose 335 billion tons of ice a year

This is the conclusion reached by researchers from zurich who evaluated satellite measurements and on-site observations. This means that the ice loss for all mountain regions can be estimated back to the 1960s, writes the team around michael zemp of the university of zurich in the scientific journal "nature". The data show that the annual loss of glacier mass worldwide has increased significantly over the past 30 years.

"Worldwide, we are currently losing about three times the remaining glacier volume of the european alps. And this is happening every year," says glaciologist zemp. Glaciers currently contribute 25 to 30 percent of global sea level rise, he says. Another cause is that ocean water is increasing in volume as the oceans warm.

The satellites digitally measure the earth’s surface and provide information about the thickness of the ice at different times. This has made it possible to monitor the changes at more than 19 sites worldwide.000 glaciers, the authors write. The glaciers had lost more than 9000 billion tons of ice between 1961 and 2016. This corresponds to an average global sea level rise of 27 millimeters. In the years 2006 to 2016 alone, it was an average of almost one millimeter per year.

The glaciers in alaska contributed most to this, followed by those in patagonia in southern chile and argentina, and in the arctic glacier regions around the north pole. The glaciers in the alps, the caucasus and new zealand had also lost a lot of ice. However, since these glacier flats are relatively small, they contribute less to the rise in sea level.

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