According to a new study, a man-made material called “nanofiber material” is slowing the melting of glaciers.
This unprecedented discovery has opened up a potential opportunity to address the continued threat of human-induced climate change to melting glaciers and its predicted consequences.
Glaciers are among the largest natural structures in the world and contain a large amount of frozen water.
For years, scientists have expressed concern about the potential catastrophic environmental consequences if all glaciers melt, or at least some of the most massive ones.
The ongoing climate crisis has allowed global warming to warm icy regions and continents around the world, including the Arctic, Greenland and Antarctica, where most glaciers are located.
Threatened by oceanic and atmospheric warming, these massive ice structures are expected to lose most of them by the end of the century.
Previous research suggests that the melting of glaciers, along with ice caps and ice shelves, has led to a significant rise in global sea levels.
Potential large-scale flooding are just some of the environmental and climate impacts of the crisis unless significant action is taken.
(Photo: Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)
In a new article published in the journal remote sensing on June 10, the artificial reduction of glacier melt was explored and recognized as an emerging phenomenon in the field of earth sciences to deal with the grueling reality of retreating glaciers and accelerating ice melt .
The study was conducted by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources.
The research team used the power of nanofibers against geotextiles.
Researchers found that areas covered with man-made materials reduced glacier melt by about 29% to 56%.
Additionally, the team found that the nanofiber material had a 56% higher efficiency rate than geotextiles during the experiment.
Read also : Massive melting of glaciers pours into the Gulf of Alaska
High mountain areas
The main conclusion of the article relates to the effectiveness of the material in a specific site or environment.
In the study, scientists found that the effectiveness of nanofibers and geotextiles is at most beneficial in high mountain areas.
The discovery was made possible when the study authors used the Urumqi No. 1 Glacier in Tien Shan, China, as the site.
The experiment was conducted between June 24 and August 28, 2021.
The experiment was observed using a variety of tools, including the combination of two high-resolution models from laser scanning and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Global warming has raised sea levels by about one or two millimeters each year as the Earth continues to warm, according to the Science Education Center of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
The research center pointed out that the rise in water levels is due to the melting of glaciers and ice caps, which supplements the additional water supply of the world’s oceans.
For decades, some glaciologists and other scientists have expressed a sense of concern over the existing climate threat, forcing them to explore or develop ways to mitigate the impact of global warming.
While the United Nations, led Paris Agreement was made to reduce global temperatures by 1.5 degrees Celsius, alternative solutions are also being considered, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Related article: Landslides can influence glacier melt and glacier movement: new study
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