The North Pole has already melted

Permafrost thaws

At the global level, the melting of the polar ice caps will likely accelerate global warming because the refraction of solar radiation decreases. Because ice reflects 80 percent of solar radiation, soil without vegetation 30 percent and sea water only 7 percent. The permafrost ground on which houses and roads were built are already beginning to thaw in places. The warming also releases the methane bound in the soil by the cold, which, as an important greenhouse gas, in turn leads to warming.

Despite these dangers, the Arctic Council, which was founded in 1996 and includes the USA, Canada and Russia, has not been able to agree on a single countermeasure. The melting of the North Pole cap does not in itself lead to the rise of the world's oceans, since the ice is already floating on the water. However, as the Greenland ice sheet and terrestrial glaciers recede, sea levels could rise significantly.

Sea level is already rising

The data from the research satellite “Topex-Poseidon” shows an annual rise in sea level of 2.4 millimeters, which extrapolated to mean 25 centimeters by the turn of the next century. But more and more computer models are predicting an increase of one or even several meters if the melting process continues in certain regions of the Antarctic.

Despite remaining uncertainties, it is assumed that one third of the phenomenon is caused solely by the expansion of the seawater heated by the greenhouse effect. A second third would come from the melting of the glaciers. According to recent research, the South Pole also contributes around 15 percent to the remaining third.