That’s a territory in Northwest Canada, near Alaska. Coursera [00:12:03]: So, when we talk through adapting versus going extinct, are those types of plants and animals–where they’re in a more vulnerable ecosystem, or there’s really just not a place for them to relocate and adapt– are those the ones that you think will be more likely to go extinct versus adapt? © 2020 Coursera Inc. All rights reserved. By Richard A. Lovett, For National Geographic News. Dr. David Hik[00:01:24]: Well, the Yukon is a remarkable place. today to enroll for free in his course Mountains 101. Just because water in an ice cap or glacier is not moving does not mean that it does not have a direct effect on other aspects of the water cycle and the weather. Sooner or later, there’s no more mountain for them to occupy, and there are some good examples now of species that are restricted to high mountains, and mountain tops that are actually disappearing. A study published in the journal Science has found between 1851 and 2010, humans were responsible for only around a quarter of the global loss of glacier mass. Melting of glaciers caused by human activity has soared in the past 20 years, a study has shown. But in many ways, the biggest changes are the things that you see happening right in front of you, year after year as you return. So, in a sense, when glaciers melt, that creates new ground that can be occupied by plants and ultimately by animals. Dr. David Hik [00:04:55]: Well, globally, glaciers are melting quite rapidly. New research shows that as ice disappears, overall evaporation speeds up. Dr. David Hik [00:06:31]: Well, it does. In Yukon, we’ve been able to do things like look at changes in the tree line or the shrub line. Thwaites Glacier, also known as the "doomsday glacier", is reported to be melting quicker than previously thought - scientists are now trying to find out why. Coursera [00:15:29]: Yeah, and I’m intrigued by the idea that we brought up earlier about how interconnected everything is. When snow and ice and frozen ground either thaws or melts– when it undergoes a phase change from being a solid to a liquid–those effects are dramatic. In an article published in the journal Nature last week, 75 scientists and policymakers from 22 countries set out their priorities for Antarctic research. Coursera [00:06:24]: Is there anything we can do to slow the melting of the glaciers or prevent that from happening? Scientists can now evaluate how much an individual glacier or ice sheet melting will contribute to rising sea levels in port cities around the world, according to new research.. Or do you look at it as a domino effect? And we see that in many parts of the world. Many people know it, probably from the Klondike Gold Rush and the sort of colorful history of what happened at the end of the 1800s. But how will that impact the world’s ecosystems? The biggest and most notable impact of these glaciers melting is in the rise of sea level. “Science needs to be clear about the uncertainty, so that decision makers at the coast and in coastal megacities like Shanghai or New York can consider the potential implications in their planning processes.”. Environment + Climate. And we see the projections are at the current rate that greenhouse gases are increasing in the atmosphere. Learning Outcomes. Dr. David Hik [00:09:04]: So, sea-level rise is a function of glaciers melting, and of the thermal expansion of water. As people continue to pump greenhouse gases into the air from burning fossil fuels, this trend is set to continue, Marzeion said. And 20 million people that live in the coastal areas of Bangladesh are already affected by salinity and drinking water and contamination of groundwater. So, for example, about 20 percent of the surface area of those glaciers has been lost in the last 50 years, and it’s highly visible. And I’ve been studying those environments for all of that time. The scientists check snow levels against stakes they’ve inserte… Coursera provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online. And so for the people who live in that part of the world–fairly small communities, far away from larger centers, out along the Alaska Highway. And local people stand to lose more than some even know. As with glaciers, there can be a delay of several decades between rising temperatures and their impact on Antarctic ice. The Robertson glacier runs down the divide between Mount Sir Douglas and Mount Robertson on the Alberta-B.C. Dr. David Hik [00:02:55]: That’s right. That it’s possible to think about how we emerge from this emergency in a way that benefits humanity, all species, and we can live within the planetary boundaries of the resources that we have on Earth. The Antarctic accounts for 5cm of that. The ones that are at greatest risk are the ones that don’t have any habitat left. Those numbers were markedly higher than in the IPCC’s 2007 assessment, as new satellite and field data came to light. The predators that are there would probably switch to other prey, to deer or moose or sheep or something like that. The rest can be put down to natural factors such as variable radiation from the sun and volcanic activity. The big ice sheets in Greenland or in the Antarctic are a little more stable, but mountain glaciers around the world, the mid-latitude glaciers–say in Europe or North America or the Himalaya–they’ve been melting quite rapidly. We’ll start to eventually notice that there aren’t any rhinoceros or elephants or large cats in parts of Africa. That means the surface is melting, and they’re getting thinner and smaller. There, he’s an Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science as well as a Professor of Biological Sciences. The latest results from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in the Netherlands, show this could be happening faster than previously thought. Glaciers gain mass through snowfall and lose mass through melting and sublimation (when water evaporates directly from solid ice). So, for a species that’s adapted to a certain temperature, maybe they just have to move around the other side of the boulder and sort of track their preferred climate. Hundreds of millions of people live in low lying coastal regions, which are threatened by rising seas. So, one of the fairly universal responses to warming that we observe is a shift, an upward shift, in the limit of treeline, the altitudinal limit of treeline and shrub line and Tundra. It is uncertain how fast Antarctic ice loss will raise sea levels, but the consequences could be severe (Pic: edubucher). Or if you’re a member of the press, set up an interview with Dr. David Hik or learn more about the topics he can speak to. For example, the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas will affect the drinking supplies of the millions of people who rely on meltwater rivers. Coursera [00:04:46]: Yeah. “Earlier research indicated that Antarctica would become important in the long term,” said Levermann. This is set to escalate, the researchers warned. This in turn affects the availability of freshwater for human use. In Yukon, we’ve been able to show that shrubs–little willows and birch shrubs– are advancing upslope and that their density is increasing at about 5 percent per hector per decade. To see if a glacier is growing or shrinking, glaciologists check the condition of snow and ice at several locations on the glacier at the end of the melt season. Melting Glaciers Mean Double Trouble for Water Supplies. learn more about the topics he can speak to. Melting glaciers may affect ocean currents Date: June 1, 2011 Source: University of Sheffield Summary: Scientists have used a computer climate … Coursera [00:02:44]: And of course you’re a scientist, so you’ve got that eagle eye to really be noticing these things. Dr. David Hik [00:12:22]: Right? Learn more about climate change. Glaciers and ice sheets contain about 70 percent of the Earth's freshwater and ongoing melting is a major contributor to sea level rise. As humans, we face a host of challenges, but we're certainly not the only ones catching heat. It’s fascinating. Warmer temperatures cause glaciers to melt faster than they can accumulate new snow. Melting Glaciers. Human influence is now the strongest driver of glacier melting, which has … Check out the effects of melting glaciers … Iceland’s glaciers have always gone through the annual cycle of winter accumulation—when snowfall adds new ice to the glacier—and summer ablation, when the rate of melt exceeds the production of new ice. While the study is a step forward in understanding Antarctica, the researchers said there is room to improve data and modelling of the physical interactions between ice and ocean. Climate change causes a variety of physical impacts on the climate system.The physical impacts of climate change foremost include globally rising temperatures of the lower atmosphere, the land, and oceans. But that sort of range of variation is going to be limited to the environmental variation that has been typical of, say, the last 10,000 years or 100,000 years. They experience these changes firsthand. Since the early twentieth century, with few exceptions, glaciers around the world have been retreating at unprecedented rates. Just recently, a study came out that modern plankton look so different than they did historically. Does it all come back to reducing carbon emissions? are at stake and wise and cost-effective decision makers require this type of useful information from the scientific experts.”. Even if they succeed in that goal, Antarctic melt could raise sea levels by up to 23cm, the researchers say. “No one can predict the magnitude or even the direction of change,” says scientist Alfonso Rivera. So, for example, that decrease in the lake level: that affects how people are able to go fishing, or in winter, to travel across the ice safely to trap lines. Those are important changes. What does the melting of glaciers mean to drinking water-its availability and its safety? And the oceans are getting warmer. Melting mountain glaciers are also predictable and their contribution can be estimated roughly. Australia is developing a 20-year strategic plan for Antarctica. Dr. David Hik [00:10:54]: Yeah. Recently, the temperature in the Arctic appears to have hit a new continental high, close to 70 degrees. They probably can stabilize if the global temperature increases around 1.5 degrees, but at two degrees, we see these glaciers disappear almost entirely by the end of the century. So, the cryosphere is the frozen part of the natural environment. Robert Bindschadler from NASA, co-author of the Antarctic study, said: “Billions of dollars, euros, yuan etc. How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Melting to continue. Environment. They studied all glaciers outside Antarctica, using data from the Randolph Glacier Inventory. And I think whether it’s industrial ports, like where I live in Vancouver or a place like Miami that’s sitting right on the limits of where the sea level is, or Bangladesh–one of the most densely populated countries in the world lives in a very low lying part of Asia. 3 Minute Read. This in turn affects the availability of freshwater for human use. So, several things: some of them are technological, and others are preventing and halting the decline of critical ecosystem services that are actually extremely important in stabilizing the atmosphere of the planet. Melting Glaciers Are Wreaking Havoc on Earth’s Crust Sea levels are dropping, earthquakes and volcanoes are waking up, and even the earth’s axis is moving—all because of melting ice Much of Earth's fresh water is locked away in glaciers and ice sheets, mostly in Antarctica. What kind of firsthand ways are you seeing climate change affect that area you know so well? The observations . Coursera [00:15:21]: And when you’re thinking about what animals and plants you’re most concerned about as the planet warms, what are the ones on top of your list? But we also talk about climate, and we talk about the role of glaciers as water towers. Dr. David Hik [00:16:06]: So, biodiversity is a term that we use to generally describe the number of species that live in a particular area, and once we decide what species live in a place, that becomes our inventory of the health of a particular environment. But, conservation of energy will be important as well. Today, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere on earth, and the sea ice there is declining by more than 10% every 10 years. Glaciers that terminate in a lake or the ocean also lose mass through iceberg calving. That’s what we’re seeing in the parts of the world that are changing most rapidly, and that fundamentally is a one-way street as the Earth gets warmer and is what precipitates all of these other changes in the system. ), and the two have been interacting for the entirety of human history. 2.0 ISSUE OVERVIEW The breaking of continental ice from Greenland and the Antarctic has been slowly breaking off and melting for a long time. Read More. The melting of the glaciers, a phenomenon that intensified in the 20 th century, is leaving our planet iceless. Mountain caribou in the Rocky Mountains have been in decline for a long period of time, partly from habitat loss or habitat change, partly from predation by wolves and cougars and other predators. Dr. David Hik [00:17:25]: Well, many of the extinctions we’ve seen have been of large mammals, predators in some cases– species that haven’t gone extinct, but they’ve been lost from certain areas in the mountains. In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of EarthComm, Section 5: How Do Glaciers Affect Sea Level?.. For more than 30 years, Dr. Hik has been studying plant and animal populations and how they interact with each other as well as their environment. And we set a limit of 90 percent of the total population that would exist in a pristine version of that habitat that’s sort of free of disturbance and human activity. There’s some other predictors of extinction– habitat loss and fragmentation, susceptibility to invasive species or diseases or parasites. International negotiators hope to cut emissions and limit global temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels. Melting glaciers don’t just have massive implications for humans. So, I always think of a landscape, whether it’s a mountain or a coral reef or a forest in terms of those interconnections. But our concern right now is that the rate of change in the climate system– the change in temperature, change in snow change in precipitation–is occurring so quickly that they can’t adapt quickly enough. And that, of course, means that the species that live at the tops of the mountains, they run out of room. A recent study he did found that 80 percent of the glaciers in Alberta and British Columbia could melt in the next 50 years. Dr. David Hik [00:09:04]: So, sea-level rise is a function of glaciers melting, and of the thermal expansion of water. Emergency Preparedness: How Much Food & Water Per Person, Prof. Aptheker on Activism, Suffrage & Intersectional Feminism, Education in America: History, Purpose, Reform, and Access, Effects of glaciers melting on the environment and humans, What cities and countries will be most vulnerable to sea-level rise, How does climate change affect plants and animals, What happens to animals that cannot adapt to the changes in their environment, What is biodiversity and why it’s important. © 2020 Climate Home News Ltd. All rights reserved. This is the result of greenhouse gas emissions pushing up global temperatures. We will find out how this data can help us understand the effect of melting glaciers on Canada’s coastline, as well as how and what we could do to stop or slow it down. So, we really need to look at the commitments that the international community has made and find actions that will reduce those emissions–and try to stay within that safe space, where we won’t see a loss of glaciers, or we won’t see a loss of biodiversity or natural ecosystems. The five warmest years in the ocean in the last 70 years have been 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. ... Then, over thousands of years, those glaciers began to melt and dribble away. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which collates the results of hundreds of studies, estimates sea levels will rise between 26 and 82cm this century. MELTING GLACIERS Glaciers, the great guardians of the stability of the planet's climate. Coursera [00:20:06]: To keep learning from Dr. David Hik, go to today to enroll for free in his course Mountains 101. A picture showing ice cubes in a measuring cup filled with water before and after the ice melted has been shared several thousand times with the claim that if ice cubes can melt without raising the water level, melting icebergs will also fail to affect world sea levels. The Antarctic ice shelf is also losing mass. ... “Glaciers without human impacts would still be melting,” but much at a much slower rate, he said. For more than 30 years, Dr. Hik has been studying mountain regions and has seen firsthand the impact climate change has had. And as always, thanks for listening and happy learning. Since the early 1900s, many glaciers around the world have been rapidly melting. Things like moratoriums on developing Arctic oil and gas–or both stopping deforestation and active efforts to plant trees and capture carbon in natural ecosystems, forests, wetlands. They probably have survived warm periods and cold periods and Refugio in mountains, and they’re still there. Himalayan glaciers melting because of high-altitude dust. I’d love to hear, from your perspective, how has the landscape in the Yukon, where you’ve done a lot of research over years and decades, changed from when you first visited it? Human activity is playing an increasing role in the melting of glaciers, Austrian and Canadian scientists have found. Glacial Melting Put Animals on the Run. Dr. David Hik [00:08:33]: You know, if you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have been a little more despondent, but I’m increasingly optimistic that we can bend the emissions curve. As glaciers and the giant ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica melt, they add more water into the ocean, which causes sea level to rise. The melting of this ice can have major negative consequences for countless people across Earth's surface. How does human activity affect climate? Scientists had known that melting glaciers contribute to sea-level rise, but the new study takes a comprehensive look at how much and how quickly they're melting. One of the most disruptive effects of climate change, glacier retreat leads to rising sea levels, landslides and unpredictable availability of water downstream. Now, that may not seem like very much, but it’s also visible to the eye. Dr. David Hik [00:04:04]: The thing that connects all of the changes we’re seeing, especially in mountains and in the Arctic, are related to changes in what we call the cryosphere. We have studies on how they are losing ice, but projections come with high levels of uncertainty.’ According to Vaughan, both the very lowest and very highest estimates of sea level rise are extremely unlikely. The big uncertainty is linked to ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctica. Forty percent of its productive land is projected to be lost with sea-level rise by mid-century. Many of them, the traditional homes of First Nation People in Northwestern Canada. And that has huge impacts on water that feeds the largest rivers in the world. Temperature rise is not uniform, with land masses and the Arctic region warming faster than the global average. Dr. David Hik [00:07:24] : Well, I think the increase in alternative energy sources–so solar, wind, geothermal–those are being implemented much more rapidly than was initially predicted and could certainly replace a large part of the fossil fuel consumption. Coursera [00:00:00]: From Coursera, this is Emma Fitzpatrick, and today, I’m talking to Dr. David Hik of Simon Fraser University in Canada. A new study shows they are losing 369 billion tons of snow and ice each year, more than half of that in North America. There’s other species that have been around for a very long time. Adoption of electric vehicles, more efficient ways of transportation, seem to be being adopted very quickly as well. Dust, climate change and air pollution are triple threat to water source for a billion people . To see if a glacier is growing or shrinking, glaciologists check the condition of snow and ice at several locations on the glacier at the end of the melt season. While the melting of an iceberg already in the ocean will not dramatically contribute to Dr. David Hik [00:13:53]: I mean, evolutionary processes can occur fairly quickly, or they can occur over very long periods of time. “This is a big range – which is exactly why we call it a risk,” said lead author Anders Levermann. Glaciers Are Melting Around The World, And Humans Are Largely to Blame. These and a variety of other questions all are related to what's going on in the coldest areas of our planet. “Human interference with the forcing of the climate system is preventing glaciers from reaching such a new equilibrium anytime soon.”. If temperatures keep rising, glaciers will continue melting, and some could disappear completely. Human activities are at the root of this phenomenon. They are set to sign a climate treaty in Paris next year. “No one can predict the magnitude or even the direction of change,” says scientist Alfonso Rivera. Another big disturbance in the 1990s and early part of the 2000s was a huge outbreak of spruce bark beetle. Scientific studies show increasing human impact on glaciers; Antarctic ice melt faster than thought, Huayna Potosa­, Bolivia, is home to one of the fastest melting glaciers in the world. #environmental sustainability #nature #climate change. There’s a variety of species that I think I’m concerned about, but I think a lot of species will find ways to surprise us. Climate change is affecting the world now, and one of the most obvious ways is by melting glaciers. Human activity is playing an increasing role in the melting of glaciers, Austrian and Canadian scientists have found. 2.0 ISSUE OVERVIEW The breaking of continental ice from Greenland and the Antarctic has been slowly breaking off and melting for a long time. This will have a major impact on the hundreds of millions of people living on low-lying land in Bangladesh. Because physical geography connects different places together, the melting of glaciers in distant places can impact on people living in the UK in varied ways. So, those are just some of the really dramatic examples that we’ve seen in the glaciers. And the oceans are getting warmer. By Daniel Strain Oct. 6, 2011 , 2:00 PM. So, every part of the world will be affected, and as a result, that just emphasizes to me that this is a global issue that needs a global response. ; Use mathematics to analyze and interpret glacial and sea-level data. Photograph by Jan Michael Hosan, fotogloria/LUZ/Redux. Melting glaciers caused by global warming will lead to an increasing number of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, according to … Much of Earth's fresh water is locked away in glaciers and ice sheets, mostly in Antarctica. Coursera [00:10:24]: And as we’re talking about ways that we as humans can adapt, I know we’re already starting to see how the world around us is already adapting plants, animals, et cetera. In the last 20 years of that period, the human contribution increased to 69%. Specifically, since the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions have raised temperatures, even higher in the poles, and as a result, glaciers are rapidly melting, calving off into the sea and retreating on land. Coursera [00:17:15]: And do you have an example to kind of walkthrough, if one plant or animal in an area went extinct, how it could affect the environment around it? My favorite species that I’ve been studying for many years are rock rabbits, or pikas, that live in boulder fields–high, high in the mountains–and they’ve been around for 40 million years. So, the forest there is predominantly white spruce, and the bark beetle killed about 350,000 hectors of the forest in that part the Yukon–and left all of these standing dead trees. Climate change is affecting the world now, and one of the most obvious ways is by melting glaciers.This month, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Earth Observatory published satellite-based images showing how glaciers in two parts of the world, Antarctica and Asia, have responded to warmer average temperatures. The Southwest Yukon is home to wild forests and big mountain peaks–the largest ice fields outside of the polar regions. With an increase in global temperatures, glacier ice is melting faster. Melting glaciers have big carbon impact, study shows by Florida State University Scientists have done field work in Tibet and Alaska, among other places as part of this study. Some areas will be more vulnerable than others. The Potsdam study suggests the picture could be even more serious. Many factors affect a glacier's speed, but in this case, scientists found that the major driver was that gravity doesn't exert as strong of a pull on the slimmed-down sheets of ice. Small populations, probably at greater risk. latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in the journal Nature last week. They're found in the western United States, Alaska, the mountains of Europe and Asia, and many other parts of the world. In addition, when sea levels rise, people living close to sea level will have their homes flooded. So, we have ways of using biodiversity as a measure for how well a particular place on the planet is doing in the face of all of these other disturbances, of which climate changes is one of the most worrying. “An opportunity exists now to grow that leadership to the benefit of Australians and to society globally.”, Read more on: Nature | Antarctica | Featured | IPCC | Sea Level Rise Nature, More than carbon: securing clean water by protecting forests, Join an online edit-a-thon to contribute climate change information to Wikipedia, Leadership and funding at centre of climate policy study in sub-Saharan Africa, Webinar: How to contribute climate change information to Wikipedia, Woman entrepreneurs fight Covid slump with new business ideas, Brazil must reverse deforestation trends before EU finalises Mercosur trade deal, UK scrambles to decide first post-Brexit climate pledge to the Paris Agreement, Rich countries, remember your $100bn climate commitment to the world’s poor, The damage of four lost years – Climate Weekly, Youth activists demand damages for climate victims at virtual ‘mock Cop26’. Dr. David Hik [00:15:29]: So, there are isolated populations, say at lower elevations or on mountain peaks, those are the individuals and the populations that are probably at risk. Often, we look at individual species, but species exist within a larger community. Through his research in that area, he’s seen firsthand the impact of climate change and has been studying the long-term effects of a warming planet. As water gets warmer, it occupies a larger volume. So, that’s outside of the entire time that our genus has been on the planet, and for many other species, while they might’ve been around for a long period of time, they’ve slowly–over the last millions or hundreds of thousands of years–adapted to a set of conditions that are typical of what we see now. They now have thinner shells because of the warming ocean. Coursera [00:07:10]: Can you talk through some of those ideas that you see as a good solution and way to drastically reduce carbon emissions so that we can stop this rise of the climate, which results in the melting of glaciers? “One thing we do know, there is increased flow from snow and ice melt in the spring, so recharge of groundwater in aquifers throughout the country will likely occur earlier as a result of earlier snow melt.” Glaciers’ delayed response to climate warming means that they will keep on melting no matter what actions humans take today to curb global climate change. Today, we’re talking with him in more detail about the impact climate change will have on our environment, how that will impact animal, plant, and human life, and the importance of biodiversity overall. There’s no sort of easy way to tell which individuals are going to be at greatest risk. I’ll let you look for yourself Here’s a century-difference at Glacier National Park in Montana Where’d the glacier go? Do you see, from your own experience and work in the Yukon, animal species adapting like this, that you’ve seen firsthand? That’s leading to continued melting of glaciers in the Arctic and around the world. It’s snow, it’s ice, and it’s permafrost or frozen ground. Scientists and policymakers are calling for international collaboration to protect the Antarctica for research and tourism. Glaciers are large sheets of snow and ice that are found on land all year long. I mean, the bottom line is we don’t know how to reconstruct ice sheets or Arctic sea ice or rain forest or coral reefs–or all of the other life support systems on Earth that are a result of natural biodiversity and ecosystems. Because this is happening, X, Y, and Z are also going to happen?. This is misleading. “[West Antarctic Ice Sheet] melting will affect everyone,” says Steig. We expect to see a two-degree warming with about 450 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. This indicator examines the balance between snow accumulation and melting in glaciers, and it describes how glaciers in the United States and around the world have changed over time. Analyze and interpret data to explain the relationship between the growth and melting of ice sheets and changes in sea level. The plankton example that we were talking about a bit earlier, that study was over 120 years. Greenland's melting ice may affect everyone's future NASA scientists are trying to understand how this region is responding to climate change—and how that will influence sea levels around the world. And all of that water is flowing out through the rivers and the lakes and ultimately into the oceans. Dr. David Hik is an Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science as well as a Professor of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Sarah Das from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explores this phenomenon first hand in Greenland, where she studies how the melted ice travels through glaciers and out to the sea. And we work in a social environment, and we work with a community that lives in those places and experience firsthand the changes that occur as a result of warming or other disturbances. The researchers used computer simulations of the climate to model glacier evolution and checked their results against real world observations. And we talk about the natural hazards that occur as gravity moves rocks and mountain and water and snow down to the bottom. The glaciers are thinning by a meter a year. And that’s led globally to an increase of 1.1 degrees. In an interconnected world, we may all suffer impacts caused by melting ice elsewhere, and settlements may be affected by sea level rises in diverse and different ways. We will find out how this data can help us understand the effect of melting glaciers on Canada’s coastline, as well as how and what we could do to stop or slow it down. Can you talk through exactly what biodiversity is and why it’s important? And so, anywhere on coastlines in every country around the Earth, where people live within a meter of the current high-tide level, will be experiencing a higher frequency of storm surges, an inundation of flooding. Climate scientists have said for decades that human-caused global warming causes ice to melt that in turn will raise global sea levels, and in recent years scientists have made increasingly precise projections … Below, listen to the conversation or read the transcript, and hear Dr. David Hik’s thoughts on: Enroll for free in his course Mountains 101 on Coursera. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at their current rate, they projected ice lost from the Antarctica could push sea levels up by 1 to 37cm. So, people often sort of think the options that species have as to move, adapt, or perish. “Australia has a clear interest in Antarctica and it also has the capability to show leadership globally in the science, environment and policy arenas,” said Chown. Lead author Steven Chown, a professor at Monash University, said: “In order to address these scientific areas, researchers and governments must work together, and we must have greater international collaboration. So, we’re on that trajectory, and this is why there’s such an urgency to try to stabilize carbon emissions as quickly as possible within this decade to prevent the most dangerous warming from occurring. If we wait for things to fully break down, that is rather late to start to try to restore that damage. Since industrial times, atmospheric CO2 has increased from about 280 parts per million up to where it is right now, about 415 parts per million. Meanwhile, a separate study found ice discharge from the Antarctica could raise sea levels by up to 37cm this century, more than previously thought. Where there are glaciers, there are people (even in Antarctica! ___________________________________________________________________________. As you study glaciers melting, do you specifically look at that one issue? Coursera [00:08:55]: Any cities or countries that would be most vulnerable to climate change and specifically would be most affected by things like sea-level changes? Effects of glaciers melting on the environment and humans; How fast glaciers are melting; Why glaciers are important ; What cities and countries will be most vulnerable to sea-level rise; How to prevent glaciers from melting; How does climate change affect plants and animals; How do animals adapt to climate change; What happens to animals that cannot adapt to the changes in their … And I think that’s the risk that we’re trying to mitigate is how much of a decline in species can we see in a particular place without losing the integrity of that system as a whole? Coursera [00:03:44]: Yeah, It’s hard to talk about some of these issues without talking about all of the ways that they’re interconnected with the different ecosystems around. Melting glaciers will raise the sea level between 15 and 22 cm until 2100. Figure 1. Melting of glaciers caused by human activity has soared in the past 20 years, a study has shown. Melting Glaciers are Devastating for Wetlands Essay 1493 Words | 6 Pages. We’ll start to notice that there’s species of fishes that have disappeared completely, from coral reefs as they disappear. Recent years have seen hundreds of billions of tonnes of ice lost - and a rough guide to the effect on sea level is that 362 billion tonnes of melt raises the average ocean level by a millimetre. And on that front, how fast exactly are glaciers, ice, snow–that cryosphere that you mentioned– how fast are they melting? “Without anthropogenic forcing, the glaciers would stabilise at slightly higher elevations, and eventually stop losing mass. Just four years ago, we had one of those big rivers that’s fed by the Kaskawulsh Glacier essentially divert from the Arctic Basin into the Pacific Basin. The country is backing 62 projects this year, down from 142 in 1997/98. We tend to think of natural places, and mountains in particular, as very interdisciplinary environments. Unsplash/Rohan Reddy. Sign up to Climate Weekly, plus you'll get breaking news, investigations and bulletins from key events. Want our celebrated digest of weekly news straight to your inbox? Coursera [00:13:41]: And do you know, from your research or studies, how long that adaption process happens? But we see the same thing happening in the forest and in the Alpine–and if you look a little more closely to some of the plants and animals that are living in those environments as well. By Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News Oct 7, 2019 Much of his work has been in mountain regions, specifically the Yukon. One of the most disruptive effects of climate change, glacier retreat leads to rising sea levels, landslides and unpredictable availability of water downstream. Today, the main reason glaciers have begun to melt is because of human activity. But if you were someone who lived in the area, these would all be changes that you couldn’t help but notice either. If I took you there ten years ago, and I took you there this year, one of the very first things you’d notice when you looked up at those hillsides is that the treeline and the shrubs seem more dense, and they’re moving upslope. A paper in They’ll simply shift their current range into an environment that’s more suitable in a different place. The sum of the accumulation and the ablation is known as the glacier’s mass balance, which fluctuates naturally from year-to-year and over decades and longer periods. And a lot of the work that I’ve been focusing on looks at species interactions so herbivores that eat plants or pollinators that rely on a variety of different species. And I guess the short story is really that we’re still trying to understand and be able to better predict which species will be the winners in those scenarios and which we should be very concerned about and are at greatest risk of extinction. Overview. The less ice there is, the less water there is for human use, whether it's for drinking, hydroelectric generation, or irrigation. And as we move away from now into a warmer future, the rate of adaptation for some species could be very limited. The melting of this ice can have major negative consequences for countless people across Earth's surface. The melting of glaciers and loss of snow has a cascading effect for ecosystems, agriculture and billions of people downstream. And the more we understand of that larger context–historical, and present and future–I think the more attentive we can be to make sure that we don’t lose them in the longterm. They’re threatening every species of wildlife imaginable, forcing them to relocate as their habitats become unlivable. All of these changes that we’ve been discussing underpinned our motivation for putting Mountains 101 together. “The effects will be global, because sea level will rise globally.” Continue Reading So, we can do something like create a biodiversity intactness index. Scientists Can Now Tell How Much Glaciers Melting Will Affect Specific Cities. There’s other things besides climate change, but climate change tends to exacerbate all of those other factors. If it drops below 90 percent, that’s where we start to set off alarm bells and can take action to prevent crossing a tipping point that could lead to species extinction and cause a collapse of the ecosystem. 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: And I do two lessons on mountain biodiversity, focused on plants and the animals, and then we talk about the future of mountains and what some of the consequences of changes will be and what some of the options are for trying to preserve these unique places as well. It’s a wild mountain area that includes Canada’s largest mountain peak glaciers and glacier-fed lakes. And in a number of places, they’re down to sort of the last five or six individuals, so they’re functionally extinct. The earth's glaciers are melting much faster than scientists thought. And that leads to more health problems, like an increase in diarrhea outbreaks. Melting Glaciers, Rising Sea Levels, ... As glaciers shrink and oceans warm, global sea levels rise. But, it is a landscape that I first visited in 1988. The melting of ice sheets has powerful implications for the millions of people who depend on glacial melt for drinking water and the millions of people who will be displaced by the sea level rise occurring as a direct result of the melting. “Typically, it takes glaciers decades or centuries to adjust to climate changes,” says study co-author Ben Marzeion, a climate researcher at the University of Innsbruck. This will lead to a rise in sea level which will have a direct impact on those living in low lying areas. So, we talk about the geological origins of mountains, the history of these places. Dust, climate change and air pollution are triple threat to water source for a billion people. The initial effect on individuals and on the world will be relatively small, but the cumulative effect of that overtime is going to be huge. We’re moving now into a climate state with warming that is being realized and predicted that is outside of the last 5 million years of Earth history. Half of humanity relies on water that flows out of mountains either from snow or glaciers, into the lowlands. As land and sea undergo rapid changes, the animals that … Coursera [00:08:16]: And as you’re having these conversations and thinking about these issues often, do you personally hold out hope that these large changes and drastic things that need to happen to slow the rate of climate change will happen in time before that point of no return? And that leads to the potential for a greater forest fire risk. Glaciers worldwide are melting due to human factors, such as greenhouse-gas emissions and aerosols, a new study suggests. How do melting sea ice and glaciers affect weather patterns? “But pulling together all the evidence it seems that Antarctica could become the dominant cause of sea level rise much sooner.”. Every year, there’s more heat in the oceans, and this will contribute to an increase in sea level. Mountain glaciers around the world, from the Himalayas to the Andes, are shrinking in the face of climate change—and that could pose a major threat to water resources for nearby communities. Melting glaciers may affect ocean currents Date: June 1, 2011 Source: University of Sheffield Summary: Scientists have used a computer climate … Because glaciers are so sensitive to temperature fluctuations accompanying climate change, direct glacier observation may help answer these questions. For other species, they might be fine, and other species will simply move. And clearly, they’ve been able to adapt to a variety of situations. I don’t think people would notice a change in the ecosystem if caribou were lost from mountain environments. And while we might zoom in on one species, like a pica, those individuals live within a much larger context. Iceland's glacier Breiðamerkurjökull is melting. People have used this to try to determine if some habitats are at greater risk than others. Mountain glaciers around the world, from the Himalayas to the Andes, are shrinking in the face of climate change—and that could pose a major threat to water resources for nearby communities. Ice lost from the continent surrounding the South Pole is responsible for less than 10% of sea level rise at present. Globally, glaciers have been in retreat since the middle of the 19th century, due to a combination of natural and man-made causes. And the feedback that then has on global temperatures is equilibrating somewhere above 450, 550 parts per million, which could lead to warming of two and a half degrees by the end of this century. Ice is very white, and since white reflects sunlight (and thus, heat), large ice fields can determine weather patterns. But it’s a sort of intrinsic loss of beautiful things in nature that we will start to notice. And so, lake levels dropped by two meters, and the color of the lake changed. As water gets warmer, it occupies a larger volume. Perhaps the most talked-about issue and the one of greatest concern is the potential rising of waterways affected by melting glaciers. “There also needs to be enhanced investment in science in the region, better environmental stewardship, and more communication around the significance of the region to the public.”. Human influence is now the strongest driver of glacier melting, which has … border. Chown urged Australia to reverse a decline in its scientific presence in the region. The retreat of glaciers since 1850 affects the availability of fresh water for irrigation and domestic use, mountain recreation, animals and plants that depend on glacier-melt, and, in the longer term, the level of the oceans. And the worrying thing is that 50 percent of the Earth’s surface now has dropped below that 90 percent threshold. In my own work, I focused on ecological interactions, but I can’t avoid thinking about the physical parts of those environments, particularly snow and ice, and how species are affected by changes that are occurring in the cryosphere. Why does it matter?
2020 how does melting glaciers affect humans