Glaciers are melting faster than they did 15 years ago, study shows | PBS NewsHour

Glaciers are melting faster, losing 31% more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years earlier, according to three-dimensional satellite measurements of all the world’s mountain glaciers.
Scientists blame human-caused climate change.

Using 20 years of recently declassified satellite data, scientists calculated that the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers are losing more than 328 billion tons (298 billion metric tons) of ice and snow per year since 2015, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature. That’s enough melt flowing into the world’s rising oceans to put Switzerland under almost 24 feet (7.2 meters) of water each year.

The annual melt rate from 2015 to 2019 is 78 billion more tons (71 billion metric tons) a year than it was from 2000 to 2004. Global thinning rates, different than volume of water lost, doubled in the last 20 years and “that’s enormous,” said Romain Hugonnet, a glaciologist at ETH Zurich and the University of Toulouse in France who led the study.
— Read on www.pbs.org/newshour/science/glaciers-are-melting-faster-than-they-did-15-years-ago-study-shows

Single Use Plastic Bags Are Hazardous

Photo Credit: reusethisbag.com

Single-use plastic should be outlawed throughout the nation. It is one of the leading causes of aquatic wildlife destruction. By way of suffocating fish, turtles and other oceanic life. On top of that, plastic is not biodegradable.

Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade – breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits. A plastic bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down in the environment. As it breaks down, plastic particles contaminate soil and waterways and enter the food web when animals accidentally ingest them.

• In the ocean, these particles eventually end up in massive whirlpool-like currents in the oceans called gyres. Our planet has five major gyres.

• In some locations, there is 46 times more plastic than available food for marine animals.

• Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year.

• Nearly 90% of the debris in our oceans is plastic.

• Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.

• Plastic debris accumulates persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like PCBs and DDT at high concentrations. Many of these pollutants are known endocrine disruptors.

• When fish and other marine animals ingest plastic debris, they are also ingesting these toxins.

• If the food we eat is contaminated with toxins, we will be too.

Sources: International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA National Ocean Service, and other agencies or persons as cited.

Alternatives to plastic bags: Reuseable bags are bags that are durable and long lasting. They come in all different shapes, sizes, colours, and styles. Reuseable cloth bags are a popular alternative to plastic bags. They are made from a variety of materials, such as calico, cotton, recycled PET, hemp and jute…

The more we cut back on hazardous materials and waste that affect our planet the better life will be. Moreover, the planet will be able to heal.