Have you ever taken a trip to the Antarctica or Greenland? If yes, then probably you might have seen that tall accumulation of ice found mostly on top of the mountain. As strong and thick as that structure might look, it melts when the climate warms. In this article we see how do we prevent the glaciers from melting?
Glaciers do a lot in preventing our planet from global warming. They work as large mirrors by redirecting the sunlight from the surface of the earth back into the atmosphere. They also help in regulating the temperature of the earth.
The glacier’s structure fluctuates constantly. Its melting is natural and is counteracted by falling of snow which changes into ice and therefore restores the glacier’s surface area. But the reduction of global warming remains the best way to prevent rapid glacial melting.
What is glacier?
A glacier is a huge, constant accumulation of snow, crystalline ice, sediment, rock, and other water that comes on land and goes downslope under the influence of its own gravity and weight. Generally, glaciers do exist and are form in places where:
- Average yearly temperatures are near to the freezing point.
- Winter rainfall generates large accumulations of snow.
- The temperatures all through the year do not bring about the total loss of the preceding winter’s snow accumulation.
After many years, this constant accumulation of snow brings about the presence of a massive enough mass of snow. And the changing from snow to glacier ice process starts.
All over the world, glaciers have been melting for about the last 100 years, and the melting rate is increasing. Many glaciers in Alaska, Antarctica, and other parts of the world have shrunk dramatically.
According to reports by the World Glacier Monitoring Service, the UN Environment Program stated that glaciers are melting rapidly all over the world. In fact, data studied between 2004- 2005 and 2005-2006 showed the average rate of thinning and melting of ice had more than doubled.
Melting of glaciers leads to the formation of fresh lakes and many rivers. Every day, the structure of a glacier keeps fluctuating and the increase in global warming makes it melt in a quick rate and reduces restoration.
To prevent the fast rate of glacial melting it is very important to reduce global warming on the earth. The following are how to prevent glaciers from melting.
How to prevent glaciers from melting
Become more informed
The great use of fossil fuels increases the amount of thermal energy in the environment. The excess use of coal and oil does not only make us deplete these finite resources but also the amount of usage affect the man-made atmosphere annually.
The earlier we are aware of it, the greater the chance of educating others. Thus making it easier to change the climate and reduce the melting of the glaciers.
Understand Individual carbon path
It is essential to recognize how individual contribution can alter climatic conditions. What you do in your daily life can help in reducing carbon pollution. Some of the things you can do are:
Drive as few as possible. Several cities have good public transportation networks; You can bicycle, carpool, jog or walk to your destination. Save power in your home by using energy saving bulbs. Turning off of the water while brushing your teeth. Taking shorter showers. Turning off lights when not in use. Unplugging electronics when not in use, and hanging laundry outside to dry.
When done on a large scale, these overlooked little things make a big impact. And on the long run, they help to reduce individual carbon path and prevent the glaciers from melting.
Support Infrastructural Development
It is important to support the development of the recently modern renewable energy infrastructures.
We must make sure that we act on making necessary changes that can lead to the elimination or reduction of subsidies on fossil fuels, thus generating an advance in the renewable energies.
Use Solar energy
If anyone has the necessary resources, they should invest it in solar panels. As an individual, ensure you choose a utility program company that produces majority its power from solar. And ensure the company is certified by a corporation that evaluates renewable energy options.
Also, when camping, ensure you use the solar-powered lighting in the dining tents instead of the battery-operated lighting.
Black Carbon Emission
In underdeveloped nations, it might be difficult to dispose of carbon dioxide from the energy cycle. However, the reduction of black carbon emission is now easier. This can be done by upgrading the diesel filters in cars, reducing deforestation, and changing of biomass burning stoves with natural gas or solar energy.
These changes might be costly but are quite cheaper than the de-carbonization process. It helps to cut down black carbon and reduce the rate of global warming, which in turn prevent glacial melting.
Reduce water waste
Saving water decreases carbon pollution. This is because it requires a lot of your energy to heat, pump, and treat your water. So taking shorter showers, turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, and switching to the WaterSense-labeled appliances and fixtures will reduce water waste.
A study by the EPA estimated that if one of every 100 American homes makes use of water-efficient fixtures or appliances, it will save about 100 million KW-hours of electricity a year. Thereby preventing 80,000 tons of global warming pollution on our planet.
Eat the food you buy and take in less meat
About 15 percent of the world energy use goes into growing, packaging, processing, and shipping food and about 40 % of this food ends up in the landfill. When we waste more food, we are gradually increasing the energy consumption. So by eating the food we buy, we are preventing the melting of glaciers.
Also, since the production of livestock products is much more intensive, eating lesser meats can make a difference too.
Building cooling and heating are part of the biggest uses of energy. And air-conditioning and heating account for at least half of energy used at home.
You can make your home more energy efficient by closing drafts and making sure it is properly insulated.
Alternative Energy Solutions
Since global warming hastens the melting of global warming. Alternative energy sources provide the best solution to global warming. Solar panels have solar cells that can collect the heat from the sun and convert it into energy.
Also, wind turbines are machines designed to use the energy from the wind to produce power. Geothermal energy also makes use of the heat from inside the earth.
Biofuels such as ethanol may be created in your locality by mixing and fermenting vegetable, grain, and fruit waste. Ethanol can be used in making biodiesel fuel; a dirt free burning fuel for diesel engines.
Electric cars are powered by batteries (developed from hydrogen fuel cells) as opposed to the total reliant on the highly combustible engines. Wave and tidal power use the great power of the sea by harnessing the power with generators put on the sea floor.
Some scientists have researched that building walls on the ocean floor could prevent the melting of glaciers and the rising of sea levels due to climatic change.
To prevent the melting of glaciers, a team of scientists proposed an audacious plan: construct underwater walls that will either protect the ice from warm waters or support the ice.
One of the scientists’ approaches involves using gravel or sand to make artificial mounds on the ocean floor that will help secure the glacier and hopefully let it re-grow.
In another approach, an underwater wall will be constructed to stop warm waters from eating away the glacier’s base. Also, a wall of rock and sand placed at the glacier’s base would prevent the ice sheets from collapsing and sliding, and stop warm water from eroding the ice from the base.
Mainly, this radical idea centers on the building of very simple structures, mainly heaps of aggregate on the sea floor, even though more modern structures could definitely be used in the future.
However, according to the team’s computer simulations, the more efficient design would be an incredibly tall and a miles-long wall or “manmade sill” that can serve as a constant barrier across the glacier’s length. This will provide the glacier with both protection from warm waters and physical support.
Though the research authors said this strategy is presently beyond any engineering achievement humans have done. But it remains the most effective solution in preventing the melting of glaciers.
Planting of trees
Forests play a vital role in global warming. The degradation and destruction of forests add to the problem through the release of carbon dioxide. This, in turn, causes the melting of the glaciers.
Planting of trees can help fight against global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Planting of new forests can help balance the increases of carbon dioxide as trees absorb the CO2 and bring out oxygen through the process known as photosynthesis.
Ensure you plant a lot of trees as you can and deforestation should be curbed to the minimal level.
It is believed that recycling helps in emitting fewer greenhouse gases and releasing lesser carbon dioxide in the earth. Greenhouse gases are the gases that cause heat to remain in the atmosphere, allowing the temperature of the earth to increase and increase in climatic change.
When the greenhouse gases store up in the atmosphere, a lot more heat becomes trapped, creating the greenhouse effect. This ultimately leads to the melting of glaciers.
Also, CO2 is released from the landfills. Eventually, papers dump in landfills breaks down, thereby, emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But recycling (which helps to keep trash from landfills) helps to reduce these emissions and instead helps to reduce global warming and glacial melting.
Buy energy-efficient appliances
After their release in 1987, energy-efficient appliances have helped to keep about 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide out from the atmosphere. That is approximately the amount of the yearly carbon pollution released by about 440 million cars.
Energy-efficient appliances may be the lowest-cost way to reduce carbon emissions. When getting your home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, automatic washers, etc, check out for the Energy Star label. It will help you to know which is most efficient.
As I have said, Glaciers help to prevent global warming, by acting as giant mirrors. They help to deflect the sunlight from the surface of the earth back to the atmosphere and controlling the earth’s temperature.
However, all the earth ice is melting. Since 1912, the famous snows of Kilimanjaro have melted over 80 percent. The glaciers in the Garhwal Himalaya in India are melting so quickly that the researchers feel that most eastern and central Himalayan glaciers could nearly disappear by 2035.
The Arctic sea ice has melted notably over the last 50 years, and its extent has reduced by about 10% within the past thirty years. Glaciers do melt naturally and the major cause of this fast melting is global warming. So the best way to prevent the melting of the glaciers is to reduce or stop global warming.
The abnormal rate of global warming makes the glaciers to melt at the fast rate and reduces restoration. To prevent this melt and restore the glaciers, we should use alternative energy sources, invest in energy-efficient appliances, support infrastructural development, decrease our individual carbon footprints, building underwater walls, plant more trees, recycle, and increase our energy efficiency.
There are numerous dangers which could spring forth by the fast melting of the glaciers in the coming years if we refuse to do reduce this menace immediately. And each one of us has a role to play in assisting to reduce these harmful emissions, leading to an achievable decrease in the future global warming.
Though it might be impossible to permanently stop the glacial melting, we can take the right actions to reduce its melting rate to the benefit of our environment. So, endeavor to inform your colleagues, friends, and family about how to prevent glaciers from melting by following the steps above.