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 … Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum each September. It’s vital they stay frozen because the bright white snow can reflect a large amount of sunlight back into … 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. If the rising temperature affects glaciers and icebergs, could the polar ice caps be in danger of melting and causing the oceans to rise? 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. 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. September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.1 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. However, the sea-level rise wouldn’t stop there. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation BrandVoice. 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. 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. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Today, polar ice caps are melting six times faster than they did in the 1990s. Melting Polar Ice Caps. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. An ice cap is a thick layer of snow and ice covering less than 50,000 square kilometers. The news recently has been full of headlines about glacial melting – particularly in Greenland – and ice sheet collapse. 9,000,000,000,000 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). 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. Did you know sea levels are thought to have risen 15-20cm in the last 100 years due to melting ice? Not surprisingly, global sea levels are rising as a consequence of the melting ice caps. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. 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. 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. 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). He covers environmental technology for Forbes. The glacier acts as a buffer between the warming sea and other glaciers. NASA Finds Thickest Parts of Arctic Ice Cap Melting Faster. According to a paper published in The Cryosphere, that staggering ice loss wasn’t caused by warm temperatures alone; the new study identifies exceptional atmospheric circulation patterns that contributed in a major way to the ice sheet’s rapid loss of mass. ... when satellite measurements of the ice cap began. 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. This graph shows the average monthly Arctic sea ice extent each September since … Sea ice concentration is the percent areal coverage of ice within the data element (grid cell). “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. The leading cause of polar ice caps melting is the greenhouse effect. The USA is the biggest oil consuming country and accounts for nearly 20% of the world’s total oil consumption per day. Antarctica accounts for about 90 percent of the world's ice. In the past, there has been a disinformation campaign about the melting polar ice caps. What is an ice cap? 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. “And in 2019 and 2020, it saw record summer temperatures,” she said. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. 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. The largest amount of ice ever lost on a single day. This could happen, but no one knows when it might happen. 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. Ice Caps as Temperature Regulators. 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: The section that broke off is at the end of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. Global warming - Global warming - Ice melt and sea level rise: A warming climate holds important implications for other aspects of the global environment. Paired with the 2019 Arctic heatwave, this melting rate may produce disastrous outcomes. The World’s Glaciers Continue To Melt As Massive Chunk Of Arctic Ice Cap Breaks Off. Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 … 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 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. According to NASA, the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate of 9% per decade. A comprehensive satellite study confirms that the melting ice caps are raising sea levels at an accelerating rate. The US military alone generates a daily carbon footprint equal to Portugal, so it's highly unlikely those global targets will be met. The Thwaites glacier is larger than England, Wales and Northern Ireland put together. 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. Ice caps form as snow falls, melts and falls again. What do we rely on polar ice caps for? Its collapse could bring neighboring ice sheets in western Antarctica down with it. Normally, it would take 6 days of combined melting from the world's glaciers and ice sheets to reach the same amount. Notably, the disappearing polar ice caps will accelerate global warming, cause widespread coastal … 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.” © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Scott has written about science and technology for 20 years for publications around the world. Snow that melts slightly becomes harder and compressed. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. The thickness of the Arctic Ice has decreased by 40% since the 1960s. President Trump recently met with California Governor Gavin Newsom and other state officials to get an update on the ongoing efforts to combat the wildfires gripping California. The sea ice level recorded in July of 8,800 cubic kilometres is 47% below the average for the period 1979–2018. It’s 42.3 square miles (110 square kilometers) or about 30 times as big as Central Park. 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.