Glaciers on the planet are the key to the earth’s atmospheric health but in recent years the shrinking of these is an extremely restless phenomenon according to researchers from five countries. These losses account for a fifth (21%) of the losses. the observed rise in sea levels over the last 20 years. Ice loss from glaciers is accelerating at a rate of about 48 megatons per decade after 2000, which explains up to 19% of the acceleration in sea level rise over the same time period.
Researchers from five countries (France, Norway, Switzerland, Britain, Canada), led by Dr Romain Hugonnet of the Laboratory of Geophysical and Oceanographic Studies at the French University of Toulouse, who published the study in the journal Nature, analysed satellite and other aerial images to calculate changes in the total of 217,175 glaciers recorded worldwide. They confirmed their estimates through high-precision measurements on selected glaciers sampled.
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The new study provides the most accurate estimate to date of the evolution over time of the glacier situation. A better understanding of glacier melting will help scientists improve their models and predict future changes more effectively, mainly due to climate change.