Shocking timelapse shows glacial retreat over 48 years

Posted by Leila Stein on 12 December 2019

NASA released sobering footage in a video showing the condition of our planet’s glaciers over the last 48 years.

The images, captured by satellites orbiting Earthshow glaciers and ice sheets in Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica that have melted over the decades and have not recovered as they should have.

According to Science Alertthe Landsat photo database that began in 1972 provides evidence of the increased speed of climate change.

Since the images taken depict various glaciers in different locations around the globe, the trends show that this is a bigger problem than mere individual glaciers melting. In Greenland, the images show glaciers retreating by five kilometres and speeding up after the year 2000.

‘One thing we’ve noticed is that retreat has been a pattern that we’ve seen across the ice sheets in Greenland,’ glaciologist Michalea King of the Ohio State University, told Science Daily. ‘It’s not just limited to one region.’

The retreat was accompanied by the formation of glacial lakes, which destabilise the glaciers and increase the likelihood that they will calve.

‘We looked at how many lakes there are per year across the ice sheet and found an increasing trend over the last 20 years: a 27% increase in lakes,’ said glaciologist James Lea of the University of Liverpool. ‘We’re also getting more and more lakes at higher elevations – areas that we weren’t expecting to see lakes in until 2050 or 2060.’

Image: Pixabay

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