The USA is the biggest oil consuming country and accounts for nearly 20% of the world’s total oil consumption per day. There have been numerous articles stating that the melting of ice caps has been at a record low, but that still does not hide the truth that the polar ice caps are indeed melting and at an alarming rate. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. While some scientists suggest that the abundance of ice caps in certain areas in Greenland and Antarctica will not melt due to increased snowfall, hope is slim. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Although they were abnormally large, the state of the polar ice caps in 1979 became the standard baseline in NASA’s study. According to scientists at the U.S Center for Atmospheric Research, if the current rate of global temperature rise continues, the Arctic will be free of Ice … The section that broke off is at the end of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. Snow that melts slightly becomes harder and compressed. The polar ice caps have melted faster in last 20 years than in the last 10,000. From the Arctic to Peru, from Switzerland to the equatorial glaciers of Man Jaya in Indonesia, massive ice fields, monstrous glaciers, and sea ice are disappearing, fast. The section that broke off is about 42.3 square miles or 30 times as big as Central Park. According to the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, the glacier measures larger than England, Wales and Northern Ireland put together and if it was to collapse entirely, global sea levels would increase by 65 cm (25 in). It gets worse still. He covers environmental technology for Forbes. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. In an interactive article titled “If All the Ice Melted,” National Geographic invites you to “Explore the world’s new coastlines if sea level rises 216 feet. The sea ice level recorded in July of 8,800 cubic kilometres is 47% below the average for the period 1979–2018. The maps here show the world as it is now, with only one difference: All the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas.” Its collapse could bring neighboring ice sheets in western Antarctica down with it. The World’s Glaciers Continue To Melt As Massive Chunk Of Arctic Ice Cap Breaks Off. Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum each September. “The atmosphere in this region has warmed by about 3C since 1980,” Dr Jenny Turton, a polar researcher at Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany, told BBC News. Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 … During the discussion Trump played down the effects of climate change, claiming, “It’ll start getting cooler, you just watch.”, California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said, “I wish science agreed with you.”, To which Donald Trump replied, “Well, I don't think science knows, actually.”. A worse case scenario could see sea levels rise by nearly 10 feet, permanently submerging many low-lying coastal areas including parts of Miami, New York City and the Netherlands. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. Notably, the disappearing polar ice caps will accelerate global warming, cause widespread coastal … Global warming continues unabated and while the Paris climate agreement sought to limit global warming to 1.5℃ this century, a report by the World Meteorological Organisation warns this limit may be exceeded by as early as 2024. The leading cause of polar ice caps melting is the greenhouse effect. However, the sea-level rise wouldn’t stop there. This could happen, but no one knows when it might happen. On 1st of August 2019, Greenland lost 12.5 billion tons of ice in a single day. You may opt-out by. Normally, it would take 6 days of combined melting from the world's glaciers and ice sheets to reach the same amount. A British Antarctic Survey together with a US team recently mapped cavities measuring half the size of the Grand Canyon that are allowing warm ocean water to erode the vast Thwaites glacier in the Antarctic, accelerating the rise of sea levels across the world. Prof Anders Levermann from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, believes that we have to expect a sea level rise of over five meters, even if the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement are met. The same report claimed that according to satellite data, the Greenland ice sheet lost a record amount of ice in 2019, equivalent to a million tonnes per minute across the year. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation BrandVoice. The plots and color-coded maps are chosen to provide information about the current state of the sea ice cover and how the most current daily data available compare with the record lows and record highs for the same date during the satellite era. Sea ice concentration is the percent areal coverage of ice within the data element (grid cell). It’s vital they stay frozen because the bright white snow can reflect a large amount of sunlight back into … Under President Trump, The USA is also the only country in the world not to agree to the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation. What do we rely on polar ice caps for? We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. An ice cap is a thick layer of snow and ice covering less than 50,000 square kilometers. The thickness of the Arctic Ice has decreased by 40% since the 1960s. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. See more, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Ancient Egyptians Believed Cats Had 'Divine Energy', Peat Bogs Are Freakishly Good at Preserving Human Remains, Underwater Icicles Are Salty, Weird-Looking and Deadly, Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. According to a recent paper published in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment, Greenland’s glaciers have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop right now, the ice sheet would continue shrinking. ... when satellite measurements of the ice cap began. Ice caps form as snow falls, melts and falls again. The largest amount of ice ever lost on a single day. There is still some uncertainty about the full volume of glaciers and ice caps on Earth, but if all of them were to melt, global sea level would rise approximately 70 meters (approximately 230 feet), flooding every coastal city on the planet.Learn more: According to NASA, the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate of 9% per decade. What is an ice cap? Global warming - Global warming - Ice melt and sea level rise: A warming climate holds important implications for other aspects of the global environment. Just last month, the last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic – the Milne Ice Shelf, which is bigger than Manhattan – collapsed, losing more than 40 percent of its area in just two days at the end of July. A time-lapse animation has been released by NASA showing how the Arctic sea ice has changed over the past 30 years. The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90 percent of the world's ice (and 70 percent of its fresh water). “And in 2019 and 2020, it saw record summer temperatures,” she said. Because of the slow process of heat diffusion in water, the world’s oceans are likely to continue to warm for several centuries in response to increases in greenhouse concentrations that have taken place so far. A colossal chunk of Greenland’s ice cap has broken off in the far northeastern Arctic, which scientists believe is further confirmation of rapid climate change. Did you know sea levels are thought to have risen 15-20cm in the last 100 years due to melting ice? Today, polar ice caps are melting six times faster than they did in the 1990s. September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.1 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. In the past, there has been a disinformation campaign about the melting polar ice caps. The glacier acts as a buffer between the warming sea and other glaciers. Not surprisingly, global sea levels are rising as a consequence of the melting ice caps. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Then there were concerns that a huge portion of a Mont Blanc glacier – the equivalent size of Milan cathedral – was at risk of collapse and residents of Italy’s Aosta valley were been told to evacuate their homes. The Thwaites glacier is larger than England, Wales and Northern Ireland put together.