In this decade, Greenland’s ice has melted seven times faster than in the 90’s, according to the study published last week in the journal Nature, and in which more than 100 researchers from fifty international organizations participated.
The researchers detail that their research does not include the 2019 data. Considering that July 2019 was declared the hottest month recorded, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Program of the European Union, the meltdown could be even more serious.
The most alarming thing is that the scale and speed at which ice is melting is much greater than the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) pointed out. That means that the sea level is likely to increase 67 cm by 2100.
Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds, one of the research leaders, explains that “as a general rule, every inch of sea-level rise means that another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding across the planet.” .
And it is not about mild or unlikely flooding, Shepherd says that “they are already beginning to occur and will be devastating for coastal communities.”
What does that mean for Mexico?
The National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) points out that the geographical characteristics of Mexico and the unfavorable social and economic conditions experienced by some sectors make it a country highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including flooding.
The institute points out that it is already possible to see these adverse effects in the increase of droughts, the early arrival of hot weather, major floods, storms, and more intense hurricanes, and even in infectious diseases such as dengue or chikungunya.
“These events severely impact ecosystems, especially if they already showed signs of degradation. The impacts make social and economic problems bigger: inequalities, poverty and food security, and they affect marginalized populations more, ”says INECC.
What is the cause of all this?
According to the study, approximately half of Greenland’s ice loss in recent decades is due to the melting caused by atmospheric temperatures, which have increased much faster in the Arctic than the world average.
The other half was caused by the fact that the rhythm with which the ice from the glaciers reaches the sea has accelerated thanks to the warming of the ocean.
Other global factors are the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or deforestation. To these are added regional situations: Greenland is in the northern hemisphere, close to large emitters of greenhouse gases such as the United States and China.
In addition, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year’s summer was the hottest ever recorded in the northern hemisphere.
If you want to know more precisely the tragic consequences that the rise in sea level would have on Mexico and the world, you can check the thaw and flood map created by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
This allows predicting which cities will be affected as portions of ice sheets melt due to global warming, such as glaciers in Greenland.
You can also check the Flood Map site, an interactive map that uses information from NASA where you can see how rising sea levels worldwide can affect us.
In the case of Mexico, for example, in an extreme scenario, dozens of cities would be underwater. Cancun, Veracruz, Ciudad del Carmen, Tabasco, Acapulco, Colima, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Tampico, and Cabo San Lucas would be some of the most affected with an increase of only one meter at sea level.
Source: The National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC)
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