Research published in the Journal of Glaciology indicates that melting glaciers worldwide could result in almost 10 inches of sea level rise by the end of this century

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  • Researchers examined the mass changes for over 200,000 glaciers worldwide
  • The study compared 214 glacier simulations from six research groups around the world
  • The study does not include the vast ice sheets in Greenland or Antarctica, whose behavior is different from the mountain and land-based glaciers and which require unique modeling methods.
    • Most research has focused on ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, due to their size and prominence, but the effect of smaller glaciers is significant.
  • It estimates that glaciers worldwide are likely to lose anywhere from 18 to 36 percent of their mass by 2100.
  • The results indicate that the smaller glaciers could play a much larger role in sea level rise than researchers had previously thought.
    • For example, Alaska’s 25,000 glaciers will lose between 30 percent and 50 percent of their mass by the end of this century. Once they do, Alaska will be the largest global regional sea level contributor in Northern Hemisphere, apart from Greenland.

About Glacier

  • A glacier is a large, perennial accumulation of crystalline ice, snow, rock, sediment, and often liquid water that originates on land and moves downslope under the influence of its own weight and gravity. Typically, glaciers exist and may even form in areas where:
    • mean annual temperatures are close to the freezing point
    • winter precipitation produces significant accumulations of snow
    • temperatures throughout the rest of the year do not result in the complete loss of the previous winter’s snow accumulation
  • Glaciers occupy about 10 percent of the world's total land area, with most located in polar regions like Antarctica, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic.
  • Himalayan region of India is home to some of the most notable glaciers in the world. Siachen Glacier is the largest glacier in India, located in Jammu and Kashmir. It is also the largest glacier outside the polar and the sub-polar regions.
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