The effect of Melting Glaciers on Capture of atmospheric Carbon

The rising quantity of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air is highly detrimental to the global climate. CO2 is a major greenhouse gas and its presence in the atmosphere inhibits the escape of solar back to space, in effect trapping the heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and increasing global temperature.

What is the harm of Global warming?

  • Global warming leads to rising in global temperatures.
  • Rising temperatures have made crop failures more pronounced and have lead to an increase in the pest population.
  • Increasing temperature also means that the glocal ice packs (glaciers) have also started to melt at an accelerated pace.

What does the melting of sea ice mean?

  • The melting of sea ice may lead to the rise in global sea levels which will lead to the submergence of coastal areas.
  • However, one byproduct of the melting sea ice is that this melting sea ice opens new sinks for CO2 worldwide.
  • Water also acts as a trap for CO2. Seawater traps a large quantity of CO2 every year.
  • Melting ice water frees up new spaces where CO2 can be trapped away from the atmosphere.
  • In new research by Canadian researchers, it has been observed that the dissolved inorganic carbon and silica in glacial meltwater ingest CO2 from the atmosphere through a process known as weathering reactions.
  • This process is a new observation and researchers look to it as a possible beneficial byproduct of the ongoing climate change.



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