Earth’s Glaciers Have Lost 9 Trillion Tons of Ice In The Past 60 Years


The last research published on April 8th, 2019 is showing that Earth’s glaciers have lost over 9 trillion tons of ice since 1961, and they have caused the rising of seas with 27 mm (1.06 inches).

The study is conducted by a team of scientists from Zurich University, Switzerland. The information was found with the help of satellites and the ground measurements done over the last 50 years. The regions included in the study are from all over the world, Alaska, Greenland, Andes, for example.

Moreover, part of this research is the European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (CCI). With this program, the data is gathered, organized, archived and available for researchers. CCI has a glacier monitoring program that helps scientists to see information about the changes in the ice mass for all the glaciers around the planet.

Earth’s glaciers shed 9 trillion tons of ice from 1961 until now

Frank Paul, from the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich, says in a press release that the outlines of the glaciers need to be calculated precisely. All the information is gathered from US Landsat satellites, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s ASTER sensor, and Germany’s TanDEM-X.

Michael Zemp, from the Department of Geography, University of Zurich, the research leader in this study, is saying that they can offer information about each region with glaciers and the ice loss. But the critical fact here is that the rate of decline has increased over the last 30 years.

Unfortunately, we are losing around 335 billion tons of ice per year, and the rise of the sea levels is at almost 1 mm per year. So that means every year we are losing three times the volume of all ice stored in the European Alps, and around 30% of the rate sea-level is rising.
To sum up, we must think that glaciers are the world’s largest source of fresh water, but the shrinking process means less water for irrigation, hydroelectric power generation, wildlife, and humans. That means that we have to make some planning and decisions in advance for climate change.


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