Climate change is even more serious than previously believed , according to new evidence provided by the largest international research of the last 50 years in the polar regions, which are the real barometers of the phenomenon of global warming.
For two years, between March 2007 and today, some 10,000 scientists from more than 60 countries carried out the so-called International Polar Year (IPY ), a campaign of intensive scientific research in the Arctic and Antarctic.
“The impact of the situation on the Poles is transmitted to the whole planet, and in these two years it has been found that the degree of warming, ice retreat and loss of mass , even in the deep layers is much more important than what was believed, “said Spanish scientist Jerónimo López Martínez.
“And there are still data to be analyzed, because there are projects and missions that have not been completed, for example the ship (Spanish) ‘Hespérides’ is still coming back,” he added.
The IPA conclusions highlight that warming in Antarctica is much more widespread than previously thought and that Greenland’s ice melts faster and faster .
“It seems certain that both the Greenland ice sheet and that of Antarctica are losing mass and, consequently, raising the sea level , and that the Greenland ice is getting lost faster and faster,” the report said.
The conclusions are even more serious than some data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (ICG), winner of the Nobel Prize, which, for example, pointed out that, in the face of general warming, East Antarctica was cooling down.
“Recent research shows that Antarctica as a whole is heating up over the last 50 years, ” said the Spanish expert in Geology.
The rise in the level of the seas is one of the manifestations of climate change that most worries the experts, due to the serious consequences it can have for some countries and islands.
“On the one hand, it will mean the entry of salt water into the aquifers that are used for consumption and irrigation, and phenomena such as tsunamis will have more devastating effects,” said Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). .
During the investigations, it was also confirmed that “the extension of perennial sea ice in the Arctic in summer was reduced by approximately one million square kilometers , until reaching its smallest dimension since satellite records began”.
Although the impact of global warming is global, there are regions that are more sensitive than others to this phenomenon.
Thus, ” the Iberian Peninsula has been affected by the warming almost three times more than the whole of the planet in the last 50 years,” said Lopez.
And areas of southern Argentina and Chile are also heating up very quickly, other experts said.
With the projects carried out, conclusive evidence was obtained that “changes are taking place in the Arctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system”.
This is a vicious circle that supposes “the greater melting of the ice, which leads to a greater heating of the water, this to a greater fusion of the permafrost, and from there to the release of methane, a gas that propitiates the greenhouse effect”, explained the Spanish expert.
Several projects found that the Southern Ocean has warmed faster than the world ocean, and that the dense deep waters that have formed near Antarctica have lost salinity in some places and warmed in others.
During the international voyages of Antarctica, the scientists conducted studies in regions where no man had set foot for 50 years.
The campaign was sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
According to the Spanish scientist, the API “has been an unprecedented boost in international cooperation in the study of the Poles, because they are remote, cold places, where it is very expensive to arrive and no country alone could face this challenge” .
Impact of Climate Change
It has been talked about for years now, the melting of the earth’s polar ice caps and what that means to the future of life as we know it. It is a real and rapidly evolving problem with global repercussions that will affect every living creature on earth. What we do now will determine just how desperate the situation will become in the very near future.
As the polar ice caps melt, the danger of rising sea levels becomes a very real threat. As the waters rise, lands will be consumed by the water, resulting in the destruction of both animal and plant life. One disturbing prediction is the complete loss of the summer sea ice of the Polar region by the end of this century. If that happens, the polar bear, at least in the wild, will likely become extinct.
There are many controversial and varying views on what is causing the polar ice caps to melt and what that means for generations to come. Regardless of the reasons for this warming trend, it is our responsibility to do all we can to learn from it and to do all we can to slow it down or, if possible, to reverse this trend. It’s a good wake-up call for everyone who continue to waste our precious resources or to pollute the land and water.
Global warming is evidently a real concern that will adversely affect us all if we don’t prepare for the inevitability. Loss of animal and plant species and loss of livable and viable land for people must be considered and expected. Whether how we use resources and how we dispose of them can prevent the worst of the predictions, we should let this be a lesson that our earth needs to be respected and cared for.