Melting Glaciers revealed five new islands in the Russian Arctic
Global warming to blame for the revelation which is a landmark finding in this part of the world.
The Russian Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the global average. Earlier this year, the world said goodbye to Okjökull, the first Icelandic glacier lost entirely due to climate change.
Melting glaciers are making more parts of this icy terrain accessible and shipping to exploit the natural wealth is on the rise. The melt also has the potential to change the climate of the planet to disastrous effect and cause billions of dollars in the destruction of lives and property.
What's critical to remember about this part of the world is that Russian Navy researchers have been working to study coastline changes from satellite data for years. Yet it's only between 2015 and 2018 that they've seen the makings of close to 30 new islands, capes and bays along Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land creep up on imaging.
An expedition to the two archipelagos – Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya – included close to 60 researchers and civilians in August and September. The trip proved vital as it led to the discovery of five new islands that were previously hidden under glaciers. Melting, collapse and temperature changes have led to the reveal of these islands here.
The entire scientific community is united on the fact that emerging islands aren't unlucky coincidences. There is an immediate and horrifying result of how global warming and the effects of things like El Nino and El Nina are warping the world as we know it. A United Nations report on global warming states explicitly that this glacier loss in the Arctic during 2015-19 was well over the numbers recorded in any other five-year period till date.
After months of record-breaking high temperatures this summer, 11 billion tons of ice were also lost from Greenland's ice sheet on just one day. To understand the gravity of this, it would help to learn the average expected melt is between 60-70 billion tons per month around this time of the year.
This kind of rapid melt not only threatens the immediate ecosphere but also extends to the far reaches of the planet, causing droughts, flash floods, heavy precipitation, horrific twisters and more anomalies than ever before. This follows closely on the heels of 197 billion tons being lost in the month before.
If glaciers continue to melt at this rate, rising sea levels could displace up to a fifth of the world's population by 2100. Complete island nations like the Maldives could also vanish underwater, millions of people could face scarcity of food & drinking water, and pollution and diseases could give rise to health crises.