Since the turn of the millennium, Iceland's glaciers have shrunk by 7%. THE frozen surface of the country has lost about 750 square kilometers in the last twenty years because of the global warming. The study with the data was published in the Icelandic scientific journal Jokull, this Monday (31th).
According to the survey, since 1890, the area covered by glaciers in Iceland has decreased by almost 2,2 thousand square kilometers, or 18%. Ice occupies more than 10% of the country's land portion and, in 2019, its size was reduced to 10,4 square kilometers.
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Almost a third of this reduction took place from the year 2000 until now, according to calculations made by glaciologists, geologists and geophysicists. The numbers are staggering and could get worse. By the year 2200, Iceland's glaciers are in danger of disappearing completely, experts warn.
The area of ice that has disappeared over the past two decades is similar to the total size of the Hofsjökull glacier, Iceland's third-largest ice cap. Located right in the center of the country's main island, the glacier measures 810 square kilometers.
“The variations in glacial area in Iceland since about 1890 show a clear response to weather variations. They have been quite synchronous across the country, although waves and subglacial volcanic activity influence the position of some glacier margins,” the study authors wrote.
Worldwide there are about 220 glaciers and all of them are losing mass at an ever faster pace. This melting contributes to more than 20% of the global rise in sea level in the XNUMXst century, according to a study published by the journal Nature, in April.
Scientists have observed from satellite images that between 2000 and 2019, the world lost an average of 267 billion tons of ice per year. In the same period, the rate of melting of glaciers accelerated dramatically.
The amount has increased a lot in the middle of the last decade. If between 2000 and 2004 glaciers lost 227 billion tons of ice per year, between 2015 and 2019 the average annual amount was 298 billion tons.
The results of these studies will be included, according to the website Phys, in the next Intergovernmental Panel evaluation report on Climate changes of the United Nations, scheduled for 2022.
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