Our planet has two glaciers of continental size, one being present on Antarctica and the other on Greenland. Observations made by scientists over the last thirty-five years all agree upon the notion of shrinking, and or retreating of the ice sheets. The melting of ice sheets has powerful implications for the millions of people who depend on glacial melt for drinking water and the millions of people who will be displaced by the sea level rise occurring as a direct result of the melting. The observations of ice melting also show that the rate at which the ice is melting is accelerating. Mountain glaciers around the world are also on the retreat. Some instances of particular mountain glaciers may show expansion, but studies done by …show more content…
A third method known as satellite gravimetry measures changes in Earth’s gravity field by deducing satellite data and determining changes in ice mass.
When considering the retreat of the Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets it is important to understand how global warming is affecting the total mass and volume of the ice sheets. Global warming, put simply is affecting ice sheets in two main ways. Warmer temperatures cause higher levels of precipitation, which means more snowfall. On the contrary, warming temperatures cause ice sheets to thin and melt. Therefore we must deduce which has the greater effect. A variety of techniques, some which have been mentioned earlier have been employed over the years to measure Greenland and Antarctica’s mass balances. Various independent measurements have all agree upon a clear long-term trend showing a decline in ice mass. Confirmation has been acquired by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, which measured shifts in Earth’s gravity field. In the 1960s Greenland was losing 100 gigatonnes of ice per year, this rate slowed during the 1970s and 1980s in near mass balance. By 1996 the rate of ice mass loss had increased to 97 gigatonnes per year. As of 2007 a rapid increase of ice loss occurred, measured at 267 gigatonnes per year. In the larger scheme of things we see how the amount of precipitation vs. the amount of melting interact with each other. Earlier research suggested that the ice sheets
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The global mean surface temperature is projected to increase by around 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial values by the end of the 21th century. Therefore, if we continue to not check the anthropogenic emissions, the increase may be around 8 to 10 degrees Celsius, which is incredibly damaging to various ecosystems internationally. It is difficult to determine the possible aftereffects of the ice sheets melting because the equilibrium-response timescales of them is longer than both the atmosphere and ocean. The ice-sheet/ice-shelf model shows that if the atmospheric warming increases 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above the present temperatures, the Antarctic ice shelves will collapse and trigger a centennial scale response –a never-ending
Earth has experienced many episodes of dramatic climate changes with different periods in earth history. There have been periods during which the entire planet has been covered in ice and at another time it has been scorchingly hot and dry. In this regards, earth has experienced at least three major periods of long- term frigid climate and ice ages interspersed with periods of warm climate. The last glacial period which current glaciers are the result of it, occurring during the last years of Pleistocene, from approximately 110,000 to 10,000 years age (Clayton, 1997). Indeed, glaciers present sensitive indicators of climate change and global warming and by estimating and monitoring the dynamic evolution of these ice masses, several
In the essay, “Global Warming is Eroding Glacial Ice,” Andrew C. Revkin argues that global warming is the primary cause for many of the world’s natural disasters; including flash floods, climate change, and the melting of the polar ice caps. He includes multiple accounts of expert testimony as well as a multitude amount of facts and statistics to support his theory that global warming is a threat to the world. However, in the essay “Cold Comfort for ‘Global Warming’,” Phillip Stott makes the complete opposite argument. He argues that global warming is nothing to be worried about and the melting of the polar icecaps is caused by the interglacial period we are currently in. After reading both of these essays and doing
This problem could mark either the end of human civilizations or mark the beginning of the next era of human development. It would decide on our species survival, whether there will be another mass extinction like the one 65 million years ago. The question is “How might the breaking up and melting of continental ice in Greenland and the Antarctic affect Canada’s coastline?”. In the following sections, we have gathered an abundance of information from a variety of sources from which we will discuss, and analyze. We will find out how this data can help us understand the effect of melting glaciers on Canada’s coastline, as well as how and what we could do to stop or slow it down.
Collaborating on an international level remains important for conducting ice patch research due to the rapid melting of alpine ice and decay of valuable artifacts. The work conducted for this thesis included cooperation from Parks Canada. Ice patch research was conducted not only on the U.S. side of the international border, but also on the Canadian side of Chilkoot Pass. Parks Canada allowed me and KLGO archaeologists to use the Canadian warden cabin at the summit of Chilkoot Pass as a basecamp for the ice patch study (Figure 1.4). Working between two sovereign countries emphasizes the matter of climate change as a global issue and the importance in maintaining international relations. Maintaining international relations benefits the scientific community on a global scale and provides significant research opportunities.
A glacier occurs when the climate of an area is so cold that new snow does not completely melt each summer and more snow is added in the winter. After many winters the accumulation of this snow becomes compact and re-crystallizes, thus forming a glacier. Currently, glaciers cover about ten percent of the Earth's surface. Yet, in the past, glaciers covered much more land and were thousands of meters thick. (Tierney)
The Siberian tundra is basically melting away overtime, even though it has been frozen for tens of thousands of years. At such a fast rate it is speculated that it is influencing global warming. The landscape is changing fast. In the last three to four years, the underlying
Global warming persists as one of the world’s biggest issues today that is causing several problems that include the world’s severe climate and rising sea levels while possibly being the main cause as to why all of mankind could go extinct. This global crisis is known as the steady increase in the world’s average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans that are proven to be permanently changing the world’s climate (Live Science, 2014). This phenomenon is strongly evident as Earth’s temperature has also increased by 2 degrees Celsius since the last century. As a result of this, Canadian glaciers are melting at a higher rate of 2 to 3 feet than of what it was a decade before (Lerner, 2014). All astoundingly happening while the Artic Canadian permafrost has begun to melt (Davidson,2015). The state of this issue in Canada does not seem to be improving as validated through both the scientific evidence as well as the blatant and irrefutable observable evidence.
The world warmed by about 0.7°C in the 20th century. Every year in this century has been warmer than all but one in the last century (1998). If carbon-dioxide levels were magically to stabilize where they are now (almost 390 parts per million, 40% more than before the industrial revolution) the world would probably warm by a further half a degree or so as the ocean, which is slow to change its temperature, caught up. But CO2 levels continue to rise. All this affect the ice pack in the Arctic. As temperature rises, ice melts. This causes many problems.
A research scientist stands on a sheet of ice. He looks right, then left, more ice. Off in the distance are mountains of ice. There are open patches of water in the middle of this great land of ice reflecting the vibrant and glowing sun. Waiting with patience around one patch is a polar bear, white and skinny. Skinny, as the polar bear has not eaten in days. It stands watch with hopeful eyes that a big, juicy seal will pop its head out just enough to get a bite and haul the seal on shore to feed itself and the bear’s two cubs. This area is known as the arctic, and it is home to many animals, such as the polar bear, but they are in danger of losing their home due to the melting ice caps. At the beginning of the article “The geopolitics of Arctic melt”, Charles K. Ebinger, the director of the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at Brookings Institution, as well as Evie Zambetakis, a Senior Research Assistant at Brookings Institute in 2009, asserts their credence of how the thawing Arctic, due to Global warming, increased the interest of the area worldwide.
Glaciers have helped define the topography of earth for many years. A glacier is a large mass of ice that has been compacted of snow and ice for a long period of time. The ice age we will be focusing on is the Pleistocene era, which was “a period that began about 2.5 million years ago and ended about 10,000 years ago” (513). This was the most recent ice age where it helped formed our present-day lands. During this time, ice covered about 19 million square miles which was about 1/3 of earth’s land surface (515). Many parts of all the continents were covered with ice and that had a great effect on our topography due to the glaciers it created.
Glaciers are one of the most fundamental phenomenon on the planet, and much of their purpose and impact on earth has been well documented and published. Ice sheets, Ice Caps and Glaciers trap nearly 90% of the world's fresh water, and are replenished by snowfall each year. Their existence on this planet dates back 650,000,000 years and yet they are always moving, always shifting and always melting. Before, human existence and even during the brief era of humans, ice dominated all of the earth's landmass and have regulated, created and altered many of the landscapes around the world.
The South American Cryosphere is composed of both tropical and temperate ice masses. The Patagonian Icefields in the Southern Andes represent a major temperate ice mass in South America (Warren and Sudgen, 1993). Although retreat of glaciers in the Southern Andes have been documented earlier (Rigot et al. 2003; Lopez et al. 2010; Willis et al. 2012), glacier of Southern Andes have long been neglected for mass-balance measurements. Due to the remoteness, inaccessibility, and tough weather conditions in the Andes, field-based mass-balance studies are sparse (Aniya et al. 1996). Because glaciers in this region have not been as closely studied, there is an uncertainty in the estimation of the contribution of these glacier-melts to the sea level
The Arctic is global warming’s canary in the coal mine. It is a highly sensitive area which is profoundly affected by the changing climate. The average temperature in the Arctic is rising twice as fast as elsewhere in the world (nrdc.org). Because of this, the ice cap is getting thinner, melting away, and rupturing. Here is an example of this; the largest ice block in the Arctic, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, had been around for 3000 years before it started cracking in 2000 (nrdc.org) By 2002, the Ward Hunt has cracked completely through and had started breaking into smaller pieces. The melting ice caps are affecting the earth and its inhabitants in many ways. In this paper, the following concepts and subjects will be
One of the effects of global warming is the polar ice caps’ melting. Scientists have been researching and examining the polar ice caps for a long time and they have come to the conclusion that the thin ice sheets are slowly wasting away. They have also found out that Greenland’s glaciers are getting smaller and smaller. Places around the globe that use to be covered in ice and snow are now showing more green terrain as the years go on and as the winter months grow warmer. The polar ice caps are melting more and more due to higher global temperatures. This is really bad because the ice caps “reflect and help regulate the Earth’s temperatures.”