Year 2012: the extreme weather, glaciers melting and faster sea level increasing

2012 - 12 - 31

This year, as well as eleven previous ones, will rank among the warmest years in the history. Meteorologists have recorded a wave of extreme heat in 2012. The arctic glaciers have decreased in a record way in the last ten months, between March and October there melted the ice area of 11.9 million square kilometres.

The time between this January and October was the ninth warmest in the historical charts which have record the measurement results since 1850. If we counted only six months between May and October, this year would be even among the four warmest years in the history of measurement. This emerges from a draft report about the world weather by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Because of high temperature the arctic glaciers were melting in a very fast pace. In the middle of September the total area of them was 3.41 million of square kilometres, which was the least from the beginning of the satellite measurement. Compared to the previous minimum from 2007 the ice area decreased of another 18 per cent. It decreased significantly also in the comparison with the previous month, even in August the area of the arctic glacier was 4.1 million of square kilometres. And that was also a record low value. The least state measured this year equals approximately to the half value which was measured by scientists between the years 1979 and 2000.

Also the glaciers in the Austrian Alps were melting considerably. Mainly because of above-average temeperature this spring and summer. Last year was almost as destructive for the glaciers as the record years 2003 and 2011. The Pasterze glacier at the highest Austrian mountain Grossglockner have become thinner of nine metres. A loss of about two metres was also recorded at the Goldbergkees glacier and the Kleinfleisskees glacier is thinner of 1.5 metre. In the last years these glaciers were losing 70 centimetres of their thickness in average during warm months.

North America and Europe were hit by a heat wave in spring months. Just in the USA there were broken 15,000 day temperature records at various places during that. The heat wave was connected with a period of drought, which was felt mainly by the inhabitants of south-east Europe. Experts also stated that as a consequence of the Earth warming the sea level increaes of 60 per cent faster than it was predicted by UN expert group in 2007. The sea level grows of 3.2 milimetres a year, while Intergovernmental expert group about climate changes (GIEC) of UN from 2007 stated the growth of two milimetres.

“The consequences of global climate changes are significantly faster and more destructive than experts estimated just a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, governments have not taken appropriate steps,“ stated Dalibor Dostal, the director of the European Wildlife conservation organisation. “In the next years will be therefore necessary to expend more effort not only for measures slowing down the climate changes, but also for adaptation measures which enable the nature and people to deal better with the proceeding climate changes,“ added Dalibor Dostal.

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