You are driving down an Alaskan highway on a 70℉ sunny afternoon and see what looks like snow shimmering, in the middle of summer. Driving up, you realize that it’s an enormous river of sturdy ice, a glacier, just sitting there in the 70℉ heat. An unusual scenery!
Such a beautiful sight. Such give to Earth and man. But shocker – glaciers are melting rapidly.
After extensive research to add to my knowledge, I can address the concern – how to stop glaciers from melting.
Table of Contents
What is a Glacier?
A glacier is a dense body of moving snow formed on land but constantly moves due to its own weight and gravity. This happens when the season’s snowfall exceeds its ablation and is compressed into glacial ice over many years, usually centuries. They are usually found in Antarctica at the south pole and Greenland at the North pole.
The type of H2O found in the snow is very dissimilar to that found in glacial ice. They are not the same. Snow crystals are tiny and have a large surface area to volume ratio, which makes them comparatively easy to melt.
However, Glacier ice crystals can be as large as the size of a human adult’s fist or an apple, giving them a much smaller surface area to volume ratio, which makes them denser and therefore, slower to melt.
Also, the reason why glaciers are formed is that it takes more heat to melt ice than you may think.
When 1 kg of ice is heated from -1°C to 0°C, it needs around 2,090 Joules (q = mcΔT), but when water is heated to 0°C, it takes approximately 334,000J (q = m·ΔHf), which is roughly 160 times extra energy.
A glacier consists of snow, water, crystalline ice, rock, and sediment.
Glaciers are very crucial to every single human, plant, and animal on earth. They contribute water to the ecosystem throughout dry months, creating perennial stream habitat and a water source for plants and animals.
They contribute by providing albedo- that is, the transmission of sun rays without absorbing them. Glaciers absorb most of the solar radiation instead of simply reflecting it, slowing global warming and climate change. They act as freshwater reservoirs even for communities that are miles away. Many glaciers are sources of rivers.
However, glaciers are disappearing.
Global warming and warm seawater are the main reasons for melting.
A study led by Jean-Baptiste Bosson in 2019 shows that most World Heritage glaciers have lost a significant portion of their mass since 1900; some even completely disappeared, as in Africa or the Alps. The study predicts that glaciers could disappear from almost half of World Heritage sites by 2100 if business-as-usual emissions continue.
How to Prevent Glaciers from Melting
It seems kind of obvious that low temperature is what is needed to stop the melting of glaciers.
Although Antarctica was protected in 1991 by the “Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty,” there is still melting of ice sheets going on due to several other reasons.
These instances show the urge to take action against protecting our valuable resources from becoming invisible. We must comprehend how to prevent glaciers and ice caps in the polar hemisphere (as well as other parts of the world) from melting.
- Spreading Awareness
- Reduce Individual Carbon Path
- Alternative Energy Solutions
- Avoid Cutting Forests. Planting more trees wherever possible.
- Population control
- Underwater walls
1. Spreading Awareness
Climate change is one of the biggest issues we’re facing on our planet and some people aren’t aware of how seriously it affects the world. And definitely, not every man on earth is aware of the fact that glaciers are melting, that they are melting rapidly, and how to stop glaciers from melting.
A man can’t prevent what he isn’t aware of.
To most people, glacier melting data are only overwhelming data and unnerving or exaggerated news. You have the job to create awareness by explaining what the data really means. Then, to those who are completely unaware of glacier melting, you are making them aware and selling them the view of how to stop glaciers from melting.
You can start by reaching out to your contacts, family, and friends. Videos work best as most of them aren’t likely to read scientific papers. You can also hang awareness posters, make awareness art, and make videos.
This info should be included in your awareness endeavors at different times:
- Provide data and scientific evidence. People are usually skeptical until there’s data involved.
- Tell them facts such as “Did you know that by 2100, the hottest days of the year will feel 10–15 degrees hotter if we continue creating emissions at this pace?”
- Discuss with people personal actions they can take on how to stop glaciers from melting.
- Show real-life situations of glaciers melting and the visible impacts.
- Talk about global solutions that are already ongoing by countries, organizations, and people. Also, talk about plans that are still under deliberation such as the underwater walls.
Share information on recent conditions of glaciers on social media. But make sure that each piece of information is from a reputable site such as NASA, the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), government environmental agencies like EPA, academic institutions, and journals.
For example, the Glacier Rescue Project (GRP) is an organization that raises awareness about glaciers and rescues them. “The Glacier Rescue Project (GRP) is an organization and apparel brand that is centered around spreading awareness for mass glacial melt, which I feel is a very under-acknowledged issue,” says the founder Gus Reynolds.
2. Reduce Individual Carbon Path
Studies have shown that an average American’s carbon footprint at around 16 tons of CO2 annually, one of the highest figures globally.
The total quantity of CO2 or any other comparable greenhouse gases released into the environment by a single human action is known as the “carbon footprint.”
Every action of humans either contributes directly or indirectly to the melting of glaciers. Anthropogenic activities increase greenhouse gases. According to studies, greenhouse gases are to blame for the environment’s rising temperature, which causes global warming. And global warming causes the melting of our glaciers.
Antarctica, due to less landmass availability, is a protected environment from numerous human activities with no indigenous humans and few visitors annually. However, the glaciers in the Northern hemisphere are more liable to undergo melting caused by human-induced climate change.
Human activities that increase the melting of glaciers on earth today include industrial activities, transportation waste disposal, commercial and residential activities, energy generation, and agriculture.
After knowing the causes of the melting of glaciers, we must know how to stop glaciers from melting. Practical ways include how to stop glaciers from melting:
- Recycling your waste.
- Reducing and stopping the use of plastics. There are other healthier alternatives that also last longer.
- Switching to eco-friendly energy sources such as wind and solar energy instead of energy produced by fossil fuels.
- Bicycle, driving less and walking more, carpooling, or taking the public transportation system.
- Using battery-run vehicles instead of fossil fuels.
- Taking moribund vehicles off our roads and using newer ones instead.
- Replacing Combustion engines with hybrid engines.
- Practicing ecotourism.
- Personally planting trees.
- Conserving electricity and water.
- Keeping the environment clean.
Apply these techniques how to stop glaciers from melting to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. And also, as an organization or business, you should also make sure to check and reduce your carbon imprints.
3. Alternative Energy Solutions
During the past decades, different countries are shifting to alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Sweden, Costa Rica, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Germany, Uruguay, Denmark, China, and Morocco.
Personally, you can also switch to alternative energy solutions.
You can use renewables in your home. Even if you’re not yet able to install solar panels, you may be able to opt for electricity from a clean energy source.
Home wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, solar ovens, solar-powered water heaters, tubular skylights or sun tunnels, and solar air conditioning.
4. Avoid Cutting Forests
Avoid cutting trees. They release carbon into the atmosphere which in turn depletes our glaciers.
Scientists have reported that trees collect and store carbon. They are massive tanks of carbon; which makes the atmosphere cooler and safer. When these trees are cut, they release the carbon back into the atmosphere. This is why they are popularly counted among carbon sinks.
Especially massive deforestation projects. Deforestation has many disadvantages to the environment and the melting of glaciers is just one of them. They release tons of carbon into the environment within a short period drastically suffocating the environment with carbon.
Many countries and organizations have tried to counteract this through the commencement of massive afforestation projects. his Instead, plant more trees wherever and whenever possible.
5. Population Control
An increased population has an advanced influence on releasing a considerable quantity of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Since every individual action of humans contributes to the carbon emission, that is why there’s something known as the individual carbon footprint. So, conscious efforts at population control will aid in regulating and decreasing the melting of glaciers.
6. Underwater walls
To reduce glaciers from melting, 2 scientists Michael Wolovick and John Moore have come up with an audacious way, called glacial geoengineering. Published in the journal The Cryosphere, they described it as building walls underwater to support ice shelves and to limit the amount of warm water that gets to them so they last longer.
How to stop glaciers from melting is a prevalent topic among geologists and environmentalists. There are studies, efforts, and on how to stop glaciers from melting. Practice these 5 ways to stop glaciers from melting and be sure that you’re actively contributing to preserving our ice giants on earth longer.
5 Ways to Stop Glaciers from Melting – FAQs
How fast are glaciers melting?
According to data from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), glaciers in Nepal and India such as Gepang Gath, Sutri Dakha, Mera, and Pokalde lost the equivalent of 0.5 to 2.5 meters of thickness across their whole surface areas per year between 2016 and 2018. NASA estimates that since 2022, Greenland has been losing roughly 280 billion tons of ice per year, which has contributed to sea level rise, and Antarctica has been melting its ice mass at a pace of about 150 billion tons per year on average.
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