We cannot stop glaciers from melting, or prevent them from continuing to melt as fast as they are to-day. We can just try our best to reduce greenhouse gases in the water, and hope that the glaciers eventually do not melt completely. If they do, many animals and special flora will be destroyed.
Some studies suggest that, in certain areas, the melting is already being reversed and, in fact, some glaciers are growing. A recent study on the Siachen glacier in the Himalayas, shows that it’s snow area has grown by close to two kilometers in the past 40 years. The studies were carried out by Dr RK Ganjoo, director of the Institute of Himalayan Glaciology in Jammu University. This study brings up some controversial data that is contrary to most findings that global warming has affected glacier growth negatively worldwide. While for the most part, our glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates, perhaps understanding why some are growing may help us curb melt in the future.
“Reversing” glacial melt is kind of a misnomer – glaciers tend to grow, or at the very least stay somewhat stable. Their growth depends on precipitation, i.e., more snowfall would ensure a greater chance of glacial growth, while less snowfall would mean a higher chance of shrinkage. Much like the ozone, glaciers have a way of balancing themselves out – all WE need to do is to stop interfering with their natural cycle. Our shrinking ozone layer is directly responsible for glacial melting, so to “reverse” the melt we’d really just need to do everything possible to let the ozone layer replenish itself.
We can’t stop them from melting, we can only reduce the effects of global climate change that causes them to melt at increasing rates. It will take worldwide cooperation and effort to stop the overall rising temperatures. Weather patterns are shifting and causing problems to habitats and animals. Using less energy and drastically decreasing our dependance on fossil fuels will help.
While it doesn’t seem like the melting of glaciers can be stopped, white blankets have been used on glaciers in the Alps to help slow their rate of melting. These blankets have been made out of materials like polypropylene, which is very strong, heavy, resistant to UV rays, and resistant to organic materials. These blankets are used both to reflect a greater amount of sunlight than ordinary ice and insulate the ice. Insulating the ice protects the glacier from the warmer temperature of the air around it.
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