Iceland: is the melting of the ice now irreversible?



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Iceland: is the melting of the ice now irreversible?

According to several scientific studies, all 400 Icelandic glaciers will disappear by 2200 due to global warming. In 2019, the glaciologists of the island removed its status as a glacier from Okjökull: the increase in temperatures has definitively melted it after 700 years.

Iceland's glaciers have fallen by 7% in the last 20 years. Data photograph how much global warming is accelerating the melting of Arctic glaciers. Since the surveys began in 1890, the decline is 18% in total. This acceleration is still ongoing in comparison between the five-year period 2000-2004 and the last five years of the reference period, 2015-2019.

Weight of Iceland's melting glaciers amounts to 227 billion tons per year, then by 300 billion tons per year. Between 2000 and 2019, glaciers around the world released 267 gigatons of molten water every year. Taken together, therefore, they contribute more than 1/5 (21%) to the rise in sea and ocean levels.

Pine Island Glacier is collapsing

Pine Island Glacier is collapsing. A very negative scenario is expected for Pine Island, in the Arctic. Pine Island, the main Antarctic glacier, is thinning at a bewildering rate. The data shows that from 2017 to 2020 the glacier lost large icebergs from the edge, and the recent acceleration could lead to glacier collapse.

This is according to the study conducted by scientists from the University of Washington and the British Antarctic Survey, who evaluated satellite images obtained by the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission Pine Island Glacier contains approximately 180 trillion tons of ice, which could help raise sea levels by about half a meter on a global scale.

From 2017 to 2020, the platform lost a fifth of its total area. The authors of the study said that the acceleration has not yet reached potentially catastrophic levels, but there is a considerable risk that the situation will worsen in a short time.

Since 2017 the situation has worsened more and more, despite the fact that, according to geologists, the glacier has remained stable for thousands of years. Study authors said: "The Pine Island Ice Shelf is important because it helps retain some of the relatively unstable West Antarctic glacier if all buttresses in the rim were removed, the glacier could flow more rapidly to the ocean and contribute to raise the water level in a really significant way It seems that the glacier is tearing apart with an acceleration of 12%, due to the loss of the edge of the platform.

The processes we had studied in this region seemed to indicate an irreversible event but at a measured rate but now there is the possibility that these events will occur in a much more abrupt way."