As we are all aware of the fact that all the water from the melting glaciers are getting into the sea and are causing a rise to the global sea levels, they could actually cause a major threat to all the coastal cities and islands. Scientists state that worldwide sea levels have ascended by circa 19 centimetres in the most recent century. What’s more? The rate of increase in the ocean level has accelerated. The average of the twentieth century is around 1.7 millimetres for each year and also since 1993, the average rate has augmented to around 3.2 millimetres for each year. Since 1901, the total sea level rise is over 8 inches. According to the Guardian, Osaka, Hanoi, Haora, Khulna, Shantou, Kolkata, Mumbai, Dhaka, Alexandria, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Miami would be underwater by the start of the 22nd century, and most of these cities are very crucial for business or ports and these places are also heavily populated with each city with an aggregate of 4 million people being affected. In the country of Greenland over 80% of its total surface area is covered by ice which is circa 1.71 million km² and the depth/height of this ice is 2135 meters. The rate at which this ice melts is extremely high.
A national geography estimate states that by the Twenty-Second century, the ice in Greenland would’ve thoroughly melted and can result in the swamping of the US east coast with a rise in sea level of 23feet (7 meters). This would be catastrophic as, a 2017 study states, the population of the East Coast of the United States alone is 117252000 which is 36% of the entire population. By 2100, this could also rise a lot and when the level of the sea rises, that population would have to find another place to live in which could lead to major deforestation for land and ‘117252000’ is just the population of the United States East coast and not all the countries stated earlier. As we had discussed how micro-organisms could stay frozen and are awakening as the ice melts, a record case is as follows : In Serbia, 2016, a 12 year old boy had died because owing to the fact that he was infected by a disease called anthrax which was last recorded 75 years ago in a reindeer and that its cadaver, which was buried under the ice along with the anthrax bacteria which as the ice melted, has been exposed and hence it affected the young boy.
In case there’s, in the long run, eventually a rise in ocean level, it is certain to affect India severely since the nation includes a long and thickly populated coastline. In 2016, a United Nations report said that about 40 million Indians will be at peril from rising ocean levels by 2050, with individuals in Mumbai and Kolkata having the greatest exposure to coastal flooding in future due to quick urbanisation and financial development. The coastal population of India is 1.28 billion which, in 2050 wouldn’t have anywhere to move. Not only that but rather even the non-coastal population of India would be affected as one of the sides is surrounded by the worlds highest mountain range above sea level, The Himalayas. Around 30 rivers in India come from from the Himalayas including the Sutlej, Ganges, etc. If the ice sheets from the Himalayas start to melt, it could lead to cities nearby rivers to flood causing another great amount of people to be affected. It is not just that, the Himalayas are home to over 10,000 species of plants, 300 of mammals, 977 birds, 176 reptiles, 105 amphibians and around 270 freshwater fishes out of which 163 are globally threatened such as the snow leopard, red panda, Ganges river dolphin, the Asian elephant, etc.. The melting of glaciers is causing a huge amount of habitat being lost for such species which is why they might end up being extinct or also causing threats by fleeing into nearby villages and towns.
Avalanches are masses of snow, ice, and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside and it has occurred in the past in India and has been a cause to quite a few deaths in its northernmost state, Kashmir. There is a part of Kashmir which belongs to the country of Pakistan also which actually had witnessed more damages due to avalanches than the one in India. In 2012, 11 people had died in India due to an avalanche in Kashmir whereas that same avalanche killed around 140 people in the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. In the borderline between India and Pakistan lies a glacier, Siachen glacier, which had been hit by an avalanche causing the death of ten soldiers of the Indian army and for a more recent story, a Sweden skier who had come to visit Kashmir (India) had been killed by its lethality in January of 2018. The point is that avalanches are extremely dangerous because of how ghastly they can be and their leading cause is due to the melting of glaciers and ice below the surface. Avalanches form when there’s a quick rise in temperature over the melting point due to the rise in global temperature. This sanctions a parcel of water to move through the snowpack and debilitate it, which can make dangerous avalanche conditions. According to an official of the Ministry of Earth Sciences in New Delhi, Shailesh Nayak, the rains which caused floods in Uttarakhand in 2013 are directly related to the melting snow in the Himalayan chain. This same flood had affected over 4,200 villages and also causing 5,748 deaths. This is because when the rainwater falls on ice, it melts quicker; and because it rained on the icy volumes of the state, the immense run-off commenced to flood the rivers.
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