Science

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

These regions of the South and Arctic are extremely harsh environments with very low temperatures, and very few humans are able to reach these regions, which by definition should have very little impact from humans. Before the rapid development of human society, these regions were almost unaffected by us, but with the advancement of our technology, we consume a lot of various fossil fuels, releasing a lot of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, etc. These greenhouse gases have led to an increasingly strong greenhouse effect on the Earth, and the average temperature of the Earth has continued to show record-breaking conditions, and research data from NASA and NOAA show that the warmest in the world average surface temperature record ranking, 2021 is tied for sixth with the average temperature in 2018. Since the Earth's temperature rise is a global problem, even these regions of the sparsely populated North and South Poles are also affected by rising temperatures and problems such as melting glaciers.

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

152 billion tons of fresh water from Antarctica into the sea

Many people may think that climate warming may be a "hoax", because this issue has been talked about for so many years, why have not seen a sharp rise in the Earth's temperature, the Earth's sea level rose sharply? Since the industrial revolution, the average temperature of the Earth has risen by more than 1°C. The average annual change in temperature is actually very small, but the Earth is indeed warming. is the melting of glaciers. Because with the rise in temperature, many areas of the Earth's glaciers are disappearing, which is the result of climate warming. The melting and disappearance of these glaciers will generally be merged into the sea.

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

Scientists have been observing the North and South Poles and other glaciers for a long time, and those satellite photos provide a good visualization of the retreat of these glaciers. A few years ago, scientists discovered that the Antarctic had split wide open and that a giant iceberg called A-68 had disintegrated from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, covering an area of 5,664 square kilometers (2,187 square miles), making it one of the largest icebergs ever recorded. The disintegration of the huge iceberg from the ice shelf is largely related to the rising temperatures in the Antarctic region. We have previously shared many studies related to ice shelf collapse and iceberg melting.

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

According to an article published in the journal Remote Sensing of the Environment, scientists reviewed the A-68 iceberg in detail and assessed the impact the iceberg has had on its surroundings. At first the giant iceberg was floating in the ocean close to the ice shelf, but in early 2020 it began to drift northward into the open waters of the Drake Passage. In the second half of 2020, a huge piece of iceberg A-68A also disintegrated from iceberg A-68, and iceberg A-68A also collided with South Georgia Island, an important protected area, and the giant iceberg broke into smaller pieces. According to the latest research data from scientists, those fragments of iceberg A-68A have been so small that they are difficult to track by satellites, and as the iceberg fragments continue to melt, it has released about 152 billion tons of fresh water into the sea, which scientists fear could have an incalculable impact on the local ecosystem.

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

This is because the large amount of fresh water that is being sent into the ocean may affect ocean circulation, the emergence of plankton, and the feeding habits of other animals in the area. This is one of the things we need to worry about, and some scientists fear that the sixth mass extinction may have already begun, and that the sixth mass extinction is caused entirely by us humans. If a large amount of fresh water sinks into the sea has an impact on the surrounding environment and the various organisms in the sea, it may affect the marine ecosystem, the food chain, and this may be a crisis that we need to consider in depth.

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

10,000-year-old creatures appear frequently in the Arctic

While a large number of glaciers in the Antarctic region are accelerating the rate of melting, there are also some anomalies in the Arctic region. In the Arctic there is a large number of permafrost layer, in the case of extremely low temperatures, the moisture in the soil will condense into ice, and will also freeze the soil together, forming a layer of hard permafrost layer. And under these layers of permafrost, there are generally buried a variety of unknown objects, such as some carbon material, and some 10,000-year-old prehistoric biological remains. Because of the extremely low temperature, so these permafrost layer is equivalent to a natural refrigerator, can be very good to those 10,000 years ago the remains of prehistoric creatures preserved.

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

As the Earth's temperature rises, these areas of permafrost in the Arctic are melting at an accelerated rate. As the permafrost melts, the carbon material buried in the permafrost and the remains of prehistoric organisms can also be brought back to light. Scientists have previously found a large number of 10,000-year-old prehistoric creature remains in these permafrost layers, such as nearly 50,000-year-old pied rhinoceros, 57,000-year-old wolf pup carcasses, etc.

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

Humanity needs to pay attention now

Now the Earth's temperature rise has not reached its peak, that is, as the warming continues, in the future the Earth's temperature may continue to rise, when there will be more glaciers, permafrost melting, more fresh water into the sea, more prehistoric biological remains released from the permafrost. Therefore, we need to pay attention to it, and need to study how to control the warming trend.

Antarctica cracks wide open, 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean! Crisis still ahead?

Over the years, we have also been working to slow down the warming trend and have taken many effective measures, such as vigorously developing clean energy sources like solar and hydro energy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. At the same time, we are also vigorously promoting afforestation to allow green forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As we continue to take more effective measures, we have reason to believe that warming can be mitigated, but the process will require us all to work together.