Glaciers store 69 percent of the world’s freshwater. They produce rivers that irrigate our crops and give us fresh water to drink.
Global warming can harm glaciers. O’Higgins glacier is being affected by global warming because it is melting faster.
We will discuss the effects of human interventions on the glaciers.
Where Is O’Higgins Glacier Located?
O’Higgins glacier is located in Chile. It is part of the O’Higgins National Park.
There are many other glaciers also in the Patagonian icefields. You can reach this glacier by road by taking the Carretera Austral highway.
You can continue on the highway till you reach the roadblock. You need to take a boat from this location to get to the glaciers.
You need to hike for some distance to reach the O’Higgins glacier.
Related Article: What Happens When a Glacier Encounters the Sea?
O’Higgins Glacier Is Being Affected by Global Warming
Glaciers are the indicators of global warming as decreasing glacier mass indicates that the world’s temperature is increasing.
O’Higgins glacier has melted fast in the last 100 years. It is retreating due to fast melting. Almost nine miles of this glacier have retreated in 100 years.
We can measure the effects of global warming by calculating the retreating speed of this glacier.
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What Is the Significance of O’Higgins Glacier?
O’Higgins glacier is significant because it supplies fresh water to many cities in Chile. If the glaciers in the Patagonian icefields melt away, it can lead to droughts in Chile.
This glacier has significance for the scientific community also. It is one of the glaciers that have the longest retreating records.
Scientists started measuring this glacier size in 1896. It shows scientists that a glacier can convert to icebergs fast if a large chunk of it enters the ocean.
A large part of the O’Higgins glacier has detached due to global warming. This glacier is significant for many scientific studies also.
Related Article: Where Can You Find the Biggest Glacier Outside of Antarctica?
Does Global Warming Melt Glaciers?
Global warming can melt the glaciers because it increases the earth’s temperature. Glaciers need a temperature lower than zero celsius to grow.
It is also crucial that the accumulation zone is larger than the retreating zone. If more snow falls on the glaciers, they will accumulate more mass.
If they fast calving, it can lead to glacier mass reduction. Global warming can increase the calving and reduce the snowfall deposition in the glaciers.
Many glaciers are retreating at a fast rate due to global warming. O’Higgins is one of the areas where most glaciers are retreating.
O’Higgins glacier is one of the fastest retreating glaciers because it has retreated more than 9 miles in 100 years.
Related Article: Is Glacier Water Drinkable?
How Are Glaciers Affected by Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming?
Glaciers are affected by greenhouse gases because these gasses increase the earth’s temperature through the process of global warming.
You need to learn about greenhouse gases to understand their effects. Carbon dioxide and methane are the most abundant greenhouse gases.
These gases work in the same way as the greenhouse does. These gases change the properties of the air and prevent the sunlight from escaping the atmosphere.
Once the sunlight enters the earth’s atmosphere, it can increase the temperature or go back to space by reflection. Greenhouse gases do not allow the reflected sunlight to go out.
It causes more absorption of the heat in the atmosphere. This will increase the global temperature. The air temperature increase will reduce the snowfall.
When the temperature of the ocean increases, it promotes glaciers calving. Both processes can combine to reduce the glacier mass.
Related Article: Why Is Ice in a Glacier Considered to be a Mineral?
Will Global Warming Accelerate when the Ice Glaciers Are Aone?
Yes, global warming will accelerate when the glaciers are gone. Most people think it is impossible to estimate it because they need scientific data to prove it.
After the glaciers are gone, the increase in global warming simply causes and effect. Glaciers are responsible for reflecting the sunlight.
They act opposite the greenhouse gases. Glaciers can reflect more than 80 percent of the sunlight to space. If the glaciers are gone, more sunlight will absorb into the atmosphere.
It will also enhance the effects of greenhouse gases. No one can give the exact figures on what percentage increase will come after the glaciers are gone.
All scientists agree that it will be a significant increase in global warming.
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