Glacier mass loss passes the point of no return, researchers report

phys.org | 3/20/2018 | Staff
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Researchers from the Universities of Bremen and Innsbruck have shown in a recent study that the further melting of glaciers cannot be prevented in the current century—even if all emissions were curtailed. However, due to the slow reaction of glaciers to climate change, human activity will have a massive impact beyond the 21st century. In the long run, 500 meters by car with a mid-range vehicle will cost one kilogram of glacier ice. The study has now been published in Nature Climate Change.

In the Paris Agreement, 195 member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to limit the rise in global average temperature to significantly below 2°C, if possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This should significantly reduce the risks of climate change. What would the success of this plan mean for the evolution of glaciers? This is the conclusion of climate researchers Ben Marzeion and Nicolas Champollion from the Institute of Geography at the University of Bremen and Georg Kaser and Fabien Maussion from the Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences at the University of Innsbruck. They have investigated this question by calculating the effects of compliance with these climate goals on the progressive melting of glaciers. "Melting glaciers have a huge influence on the development of sea level rise. In our calculations, we took into account all glaciers worldwide—without the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and peripheral glaciers—and modeled them in various climate scenarios," explains Georg Kaser.

Kilogram - CO2 - Costs - Kilograms - Glacier

One kilogram of CO2 emitted costs 15 kilograms of glacier ice. Whether the average temperature rises...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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