Almost half of the ice on Earth is concentrated in the Arctic.
An international group of scientists conducted a study of almost 215 thousand glaciers and estimated their total volume amounted to 158 thousand sq. km. the Volume of glaciers over several years decreased by 18%. This result takes into account data on glaciers worldwide, except in the ice of Antarctica and Greenland, said on Monday the Federal Polytechnic school of Zurich (ETH Zurich).
The study was conducted under the supervision of ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute for forest, snow and landscape (WSL). It was attended by their colleagues from Fribourg as well as German, Austrian and Indian experts. In their calculations glaciologists use a combination of the five independent methods of digital simulation. It turned out that almost half of the ice on Earth is concentrated in the Arctic – about 75 thousand sq. km.
In the course held some years ago similar studies were the results obtained, which is 18% higher than the current.
“In light of the new calculations we need to recognize that glaciers in the high mountains of Asia may disappear faster than we hitherto thought”, – said the Professor of glaciology Daniel Farinotti.
According to the new estimates, the Himalayas, Tibet and the mountains of Central Asia, the glaciers will lose half its volume in 2060-ies, whereas before it was thought that this will happen in 2070 years. Experts warn that the melting of the Asian glaciers will lead to the end of this century to reduce by 24% the volume of water they produce. Farinotti stressed that this forecast was “a concern” because a reduction in the volume of water resulting from the melting of glaciers can lead to the shallowing of rivers, especially in arid regions, particularly in the Andes and Central Asia, where that water depends heavily on agriculture.
Scientists estimate that if all 215 thousand they studied glaciers will melt completely, the global sea level will rise 30 cm between 1990 and 2010 due to melting glaciers, Global sea level rose by 1.5 cm.