Antarctica’s melting ice to adversely affect coastal population: Dr Shailesh Nayak | Lifestyle News

Kochi: The ice sheets and glaciers in Antarctica are melting at an exponential rate causing the global average sea level to raise alarmingly. Scientists warn that the rising sea levels could severely affect the lives of the coastal population. Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) says that the sea level has risen up to eight metres due to ice melting. He was speaking on the topic ‘Antarctica and Climate Change’ at the Antarctica Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) held in Kochi.

Climate change, holes in the ozone layer and greenhouse gas emissions have increased the temperature on the ocean’s surface. The rising temperature has surged the rate of ice melting in Antarctica. The sea level would rise up to half metres if the temperature on the ocean’s surface goes up by two degree Celsius. Besides, global warming and ocean acidification would severely affect the marine life and ecology.

Dr. Nayak warned that the microorganisms in Antarctica may decline by 20%. Moreover, the heat may drive animals and organisms that are not part of Antarctica’s ecology to migrate here. The demand for resources is likely to increase due to technological advancement. Dr. Nayak said that expeditions for discovering oil, natural gas and minerals in the remote parts of Antarctica may go up.

Working group meetings beginMeanwhile, the meetings of the working groups have begun at the ATCM. A working group to exclusively discuss the restrictive measures for tourism activities will function at this year’s meeting. Scientists are worried that plastic pollution and water pollution may reach Antarctica as the number of tourists have increased significantly. Besides this, there are two more working groups at the ACTM. The signatories would approve the guidelines after the working groups discuss these and reach a consensus. The Antarctica Treaty Consultative Meeting concludes on May 30.

Recommended For You