EXPLAINED: The Concept Of “Zombie Ice”. Can It Raise Global Sea Levels?

Scientists for the first time estimated the minimum ice loss in Greenland and the corresponding increase in global sea level, and the results are alarming. The Greenland ice sheet is certain to melt by 3.3% leading to a 10-inch rise in the sea level. What is the reason behind it, what are the worrisome issues, and what is meant by “zombie ice”; know everything here.
What Is Meant By Zombie Ice
What Is Meant By Zombie Ice

Sometimes, it is too late to act, and we have truly lost some battles when we talk about the environment.

The Greenland ice sheet is melting at an unprecedented speed, becoming a significant environmental concern.

This melting of the Greenland ice sheet is going to increase the global sea levels by approximately 27 centimeters or 10.6 inches. The situation turns gloomy with the fact that there is nothing we can do to control the issue.


Why? The Zombie Ice.


The Zombie Ice- What Is It?

The “Zombie Ice” is a term given to a layer of ice that does not allow the accumulation of fresh snow, despite continuing to be the parent ice sheet’s part.

Also called the “doomed ice” or the “dead ice”, the “zombie ice” is “committed to increasing sea levels by melting away.

Why Did This Scenario Emerge? Is Mankind At Fault?

This increase in the melting of zombie ice is a result of excess warming that the planet has gone through in the past.


The research talks about an equilibrium state where the snow falling from higher altitudes of the Greenland ice cap flows down to recharge the glaciers’ edges, thereby thickening them.


The research says that in the last few decades, more melting and less replenishment have been seen.


What’s Next?

Scientists, after evaluating the ratio of recharge to loss, have stated that 3.3% of Greenland’s total ice volume is certain to melt.

This minimum committed ice loss is certain even if the world stabilizes the global temperature at the current level. 


Here comes another cause of worry.

Global warming is expected to worsen, and the world may witness a corresponding rise in sea levels due to the same.

Greenland’s record melt year is 2012, and, as per the studies, if the situation continues to worsen in similar manners, there may come a time when the sea level may rise by 30 inches (78 centimeters).


When would this committed melting occur? Well, the research could not give an exact, crisp timeline, but it says that this committed melting will likely occur ‘within this century”.


The groundbreaking research has thrown a light on a robust conservative estimate of what is likely to take place in the near future. The chief scientist at The University of Alaska Fairbanks


Is The Scenario Alarming? What Are The Worrisome Concerns?


The unavoidable 10-inch rise in the sea level is a piece of worrisome and alarming news for the whole world, but especially for the millions of people residing in the coastal zones.

As per the UB Atlas of the Oceans, as many as 8 of the world’s top 10 largest cities are situated near the coast. 


What does a rise in sea level after all mean?

The rise in sea levels implies storms, huge tides, flooding, and more becoming more frequent. When all these disruptions affect the inland, that’s when the problems emerge for the coastal areas. This also leads to significant problems for the local infrastructure and local economies.


What Does The World Economic Forum Say?


The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risks Report states that approximately 800 million residents in more than 570 coastal cities are prone to a sea-level increase of 0.5 meters by 2050”.

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