Melting Polar Ice Caps Are Deforming The Earth, But What Can We Do About It?

Extreme climate change has created more problems than humans had expected. Things are going off the rails and at quite a fast speed. There are new repercussions of human actions every day.

The escalation in temperatures around the world has caused the Arctic Ice to melt at an appalling rate. This has led to rising sea levels that are said to reshape coastlines all over the globe. A recent study has revealed that this is not the only result of melting ice caps. The earth’s crust is also observed to be reshaped as a consequence of the melting glaciers.

Greenland ice (PA Images)

According to newly-published research, the outermost layer that surrounds the earth is elastic in nature. The study was also published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters last month. Scientists from Harvard revealed that the crust rebounds outwards once the ice is from the top melts. Once it happens, it does not return to its original spherical shape.

It was also found out that these deformations were bigger than what the scientists had thought. Also, they have the potential to negatively influence the ecosystems for thousands of years to come. For example, some of the parts in the Arctic are still expanding slowly after the weight of the ice age that which had ended 11,000 years ago. These expansions and warping are amplifying and creating an increasingly complex landscape.

Greenland Record Ice Melt (PA Images)

“On recent timescales, we think of the Earth as an elastic structure, like a rubber band, whereas on timescales of thousands of years, the Earth acts more like a very slow-moving fluid.” Harvard planetary scientist Sophie Coulson said in a press release. “Ice age processes take a really, really long time to play out, and therefore we can still see the results of them today.”

It is essential for scientists to be able to keep an eye on the expansion. This will help them comprehend the shape it is shifting to and make it easier to foretell the upcoming changes and how to cope with them. These include tectonic movements, earthquakes, and other geological processes. There is also a chance of escalation in melting due to this warping and creating a vicious cycle.

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