Polar bears and melting ice: three facts that shouldn’t surprise you Posted on July 20, 2014 | Comments Off on Polar bears and melting ice: three facts that shouldn’t surprise you If I was invited by USA TODAY to discuss how climate change is affecting polar bears now – summed up in three talking points – this is what I’d say. Still, it’s interesting to contemplate just how much our sea level would rise in such a situation. When they melt, sea level isn't directly affected because this ice is already in the ocean. About 15 percent of the world's oceans are covered by sea ice during part of the year. Already, cities such as Miami and London have experienced preemptive flooding. After all, “once all the Arctic ice is gone in the summer, the Arctic summertime ice loss can’t accelerate any further.”. Ari Kelo is an Editor at The Rising, primarily covering…. As ocean temperatures increase from this changing dynamic, we could face some very extreme climate change. Rising sea levels will threaten coastal communities across the globe, where even minute changes in sea level can flood or engulf entire cities. A very dangerous way. Impacts will be global. This is certainly the case for the Antarctic Circle. Earth’s changing cryosphere. I will consider the environmental, social, and economic impacts of my daily decisions and make every effort to be responsible in these areas. Paired with the 2019 Arctic heatwave, this melting rate may produce disastrous outcomes. As part of the overall climate change phenomenon, the polar ice caps melting is an effect of trapped greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the song “Dear Miami” is about just this. 5.2 What will be the impact on marine fisheries? At this rate, governments may not be able to prevent the complete loss of arctic ice. We'll send you three pieces completely free of charge. The Polar ice caps melting may change our world maps, as a result of the flooding that is caused. … The extremely well-preserved frozen bodies … The Arctic ice cap has decreased since the 1960s by as much as 40%. And … Snow that melts slightly becomes harder and compressed. It’s a win-win for everyone. Global warming deniers claim that the results concerning sea ice at a global level appear to have evened out. 7- Cut down on meat consumption and favor vegetable consumption: Feeding, housing, processing, transporting, and selling meat uses way more energy — and water — than simpler foods like fruits, grains, and vegetables. The composition of the ice will vary. We will send you all the latest blog posts from the Earth Project, as well as popular projects, news and more. And according to the IPCC, rising sea levels may be the culprit of the most dangerous symptoms of climate change. This animation shows how the multi-year sea ice area, an estimation of the total volume of multi-year ice in the Arctic Ocean, has evolved from 1980 to 2012. Credit: NASA… Since the 1990s, the speed of ice loss as increased sixfold — with a sevenfold increase in Greenland. This is also a clear explanation for why the rate of the arctic polar ice caps melting doubled over the past few years. These large bodies of water absorb 90% of the Earth's total warmth, meaning that sea ice floating in the ocean are subject to higher temperatures and naturally melt as a result. To find food, polar bears are traveling to places they don't normally go. Data from NASA's GRACE and GRACE Follow-On satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica (upper chart) and Greenland (lower chart) have been losing mass since 2002. This year, NASA will launch two satellite missions that will increase … The planet Mars has two permanent polar ice caps.During a pole's winter, it lies in continuous darkness, chilling the surface and causing the deposition of 25–30% of the atmosphere into slabs of CO 2 ice (). “What was highly unusual in the recent past is becoming the new normal. the decreases in Arctic sea ice far exceed the increases in Antarctic sea ice. With recent data finding that 2019 broke a record for ice loss, time is running out for coastal communities. The result is hypoxic and suboxic areas in the ocean that are incapable of supporting life. 4- Reduce our impact on the environment by individual and institutional actions, by exploring options in alternative transportation, waste reduction and recycling, appliance efficiency and awareness of how the decisions we make affect our personal environment and the world as a whole. "The average annual loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica in the 2010s was 475bn tonnes – six times greater than the 81bn tonnes a year lost in the 1990s. Wet. From the Arctic to Peru, from Switzerland to the equatorial glaciers of Man Jaya in Indonesia, massive ice fields, monstrous glaciers, and sea ice are disappearing, fast. However, lessening our greenhouse gas output and reducing pollutants will do more than just prevent our polar ice caps melting. This rate of polar ice caps melting has been being measured since 1979. But these heatwaves are only becoming more intense and frequent as global warming continues. During the first half of the period, this rate of loss was 8,300 square miles. 5- Adopt a sustainable lifestyle: the collective efforts of individuals can make a huge impact for conserving resources and protecting the environment. After all, we’d still retain most of our land masses and we could just move inland… Right? Since climate change is one of the biggest concern nowadays, scientists indicate its effect point out some polar ice caps facts in the Arctic area. The melting of the polar ice caps is caused by the overall increase in global temperature, and this melting can have serious consequences for all … All Rights Reserved. NASA has estimated that the polar ice caps are melting 9% every ten years, which is an extremely alarming rate. President Trump falsely claimed that the polar ice caps - which have been melting at historic rates - were "setting records" for how much they aren't melting The Earth Project believes in the Native American Spirit that “We do not inherit the land from our ancestors but borrow it from our children”. Since the industrial revolution, however, humans have been tipping that delicate natural balance. The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s, according to the most complete analysis to date. A polar ice cap or polar cap is a high-latitude region of a planet, dwarf planet, or natural satellite that is covered in ice.. The first step for front-line, coastal communities may be to recognize that the fast pace at which polar ice caps melt present a crisis beyond the arctic and Antarctic circles. It will make the past two decades look like a cake walk. Think of it as ice in your glass of water melting. mass of glacial land ice extending more than 50,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles I will also share my individual sustainability efforts with others and in my community to inspire people in making conscientious choices for the planet”. Rather, he anticipates that these impacts “are happening and will be devastating for coastal communities.”. National Geographic has actually made a graphic to show would the world would look like if this happened. Parkinson says there is a limit to this increase, of course. From the hurricane that broke the levees in New Orleans to the disastrous drought in California, many of us wonder what we can do. Our weather is becoming more unstable and dangerous. This happens over and over again with layers of compressed, hard snow forming on top of each other. Arctic marine fisheries … There are no requirements with respect to size or composition for a body of ice to be termed a polar ice cap, nor any geological requirement for it to be over land, but only that it must be a body of solid phase matter in the polar region. New snow falls on top and the snow underneath becomes even denser. 10- Reduce our plastic consumption, and favor reusable and recyclable goods: When the poles are again exposed to sunlight, the frozen CO 2 sublimes. According to NASA, “The global average surface temperature rose 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6° F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years.”, Greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane result from our industrial activities as well as many other natural factors. 9- Choose local and organic products: by reducing transportation and chemicals, we make a healthy choice for us and the planet. This means that it reflects excess radiation from the sun back into space and keeps our planet from overheating – not in the little way that it has been, but in a big way. In a more proximate scale, ice loss has … That is quite a serious trade off. In essence, the polar ice caps are depleting at an irreversible pace. Today, polar ice caps are melting six times faster than they did in the 1990s. © 2018 The Earth Project. Known as polar amplification, the effects of increased solar radiation are most pronounced in polar regions. This cooler time is what we are adapted to, though, and a sudden change in that could cause great damage to humanity and other life that is evolved for this environment. Because Our earth is a precious gift, we need to honor and protect her. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you or sell your information. What would the earth look like with our polar ice caps melting completely? A combination of an increase in rainfall, and sea levels rising may threaten to change the existing land. © 2020 Medius Ventures LLC. Do share your tips for lowering carbon footprints below. What’s worse, scientists have already observed that melting ice will cause a dramatic rise in global sea levels. The answer is not readily available, but nonetheless, communities should prepare for the worst. 3- Respect, protect and preserve our resources to ensure future generations a greater tomorrow. In fact, the most recent study from NASA found that “Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away.” Of course, that means that NASA is still trying to figure out where exactly the sea level rise of 0.27 millimeters per year is coming from. Yet regardless of how you spin it, polar ice caps are melting much too fast for communities to adjust. 2- Act for the planet by making global warming an urgency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and choosing clean energy. Not surprisingly, global sea levels are rising as a consequence of the melting ice caps. Ice is melting at the poles. This particularly affects the marine ice sheets located near the two global poles and along the coasts of Alaska. Ice caps form as snow falls, melts and falls again. The surface level of the ocean is heating much faster than the lower levels, and in the surface, oxygen is depleting at an alarming rate. It’s a basic rule of physics that warmer water holds less oxygen. As sea ice melts in the summer, it exposes the dark ocean surface. Our adaptable earth has been here for five billion years and it will be here for five billion more without us. It has been a focus of attention in recent years, largely because of a strong decrease in the Arctic sea ice cover and modeling results that indicate that global warming could be amplified in the Arctic on account of ice-albedo feedback. Arctic sea ice keeps the polar regions cool and helps moderate global climate. And as climate change may also lengthen hurricane season, coastal towns may experience even more deadly flooding every year. Attributed in part to rising average temperatures, the poles are experiencing the brunt of global warming. Feel free to send a pitch to itsarikelo@gmail.com. “I pledge to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The scientists behind the IPCC’s recent statement attest that the future may be grave for coastal communities. Ari Kelo is an Editor at The Rising, primarily covering the politics of environmental sustainability. Sea ice has a bright surface; 80 percent of the sunlight that strikes it is reflected back into space. In this decade, the globe lost about 81 billion tons of ice each year. The increasing temperatures which cause the polar ice caps to … The sea ice level recorded in July of 8,800 cubic kilometres is 47% below the average for the period 1979–2018. The North Pole is covered by a floating pack of ice, located just over the Arctic Ocean. 6- Protect and respect animals, their natural habitats and biodiversity, endangered species and communities. Antarctic ice levels may be at a new maximum, but we are still losing ice from the Arctic polar ice caps melting at an astounding rate. In fact, oxygen levels are predicted to decrease even further–about 3% to 6% over then next century. More contact with humans. Over 70 percent of the earth’s fresh water is locked in the frozen ice masses of Antarctica, with an average ice thickness of over a mile. 8- Reduce energy, water and food waste, for a more equitable sharing and preservation of our resources. But now, that number averages around 475 billion tons, 60% of which stemming from Greenland’s ice mass. The earth’s atmosphere varies naturally and has been both much warmer and much cooler over the millennia. Plus it's healthier! The burning of fossil fuels – coal, gas and oil – causes the Earth’s temperature to go up significantly. Sea ice is important because it’s highly reflective. It really is that serious. Almost 90% is in Antarctica, while the remaining 10% is in the Greenland ice cap. Accordingly, coasts spanning the Atlantic Ocean face a unique challenge. Instead of reflecting 80 percent of the sunlight, the ocean absorbs 90 percent of the sunlight. "The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s, according to the most complete analysis to date" (Source). Penguins, who live in the Antarctica region, are also losing their environment as the polar ice caps melt. We can learn to live healthier, more natural lifestyles. Florida? There are no signs of a slowdown in the rate of melting, as global temperatures continue to go up. Polar Ice Caps Melting – 8 Things to Remember, On the Farm - Nude Squamish Farmer Calendar, Gotek Portable Shoe Deodorizer & Sterilizer, OnTheRocks: Clear Ice Cubes, Spheres, & Diamonds. In the 1990s, towns became accustomed to a much slower rising sea level rate. Since this is where polar bears, seals, and other animals in this climate live, they are losing their homes and their entire species is being threatened. Rapid glacial melt in Antarctica and Greenland also influences ocean currents, as massive amounts of very cold glacial-melt water entering warmer ocean waters is slowing ocean currents. Because of melting sea ice, it is likely that more polar bears will soon starve, warns a new study that discovered the large carnivores need to eat 60 percent more than anyone had realized. Notably, the disappearing polar ice caps will accelerate global warming, cause widespread coastal flooding, and contribute to rising sea levels. The key is to shut down the culprit behind ice loss: global warming. All Rights Reserved. Here are eight important facts that everyone should know about our polar ice caps melting from confirmed recent scientific studies and data. Certain parts of the Antarctic ice shelf are currently melting, but this melting is outweighed by new ice accumulation elsewhere. Scientists have confirmed that polar ice caps are melting at unprecedented and dangerous rates. Some do argue rightly that these gasses are released in larger quantities by natural activity because they are produced and reabsorbed by our biosphere. If the temperature on earth continues to rise at its current rate the Arctic will have no ice by 2040. We’d lose a lot of coastal cities, but would it really be the end of the world? For the most part, sea ice expands during winter months and melts during summer months, but in certain regions, some sea ice remains year-round. Scientists have confirmed that polar ice caps are melting at unprecedented and dangerous rates. This wouldn’t happen unless there was a more severe global warming greenhouse event because when it’s summer on one pole, it’s winter on the other. Currently, the organization predicts that, without immediate action on carbon emissions, 400 million people will be exposed to coastal flooding every year by 2100. Polar ice cap melting would create a rise in sea levels, and a sudden collapse of West Antarctic ice sheets could raise sea levels from 16-20 feet. It has now doubled in the last half of this measurement period to 19,500 square miles per year. By signing up you agree to all the Terms and conditions. Clair Parkinson, a scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has confirmed that “the decreases in Arctic sea ice far exceed the increases in Antarctic sea ice.”, This rate of polar ice caps melting has been being measured since 1979. This is about the size of the state of Maryland. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (), ice currently covers 6 million square miles, or one tenth the Land area on Earth, about the area of South America.Floating ice, or Sea Ice, alternately called Pack Ice at the North and South Poles covers 6% of the ocean’s surface (), an area similar to North America.The most important measure of ice is its … Ice shelves are massive, floating platforms of ice that surround the ice-covered continents of Antarctica and Greenland. Where the average global temperature may increase slightly over time, the poles oftentimes experience steeper temperature spikes. According to NASA, “since…about 1750, carbon dioxide levels have increased nearly 38 percent as of 2009 and methane levels have increased 148 percent.”. Our site uses cookies. It will ensure that our environment is free of toxins that harm wildlife and humans. The Arctic is far more sensitive to warming now than even a few decades ago,” said geography professor Luke Trusel of Pennsylvania State University. From CFACT:. A comprehensive satellite study confirms that the melting ice caps are raising sea levels at an accelerating rate. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, sea ice reflects 80 percent of the sunlight that hits it, whereas the dark ocean water absorbs 90 percent of the sunlight that shines on it. For example Earth's polar ice caps are mainly water ice, while Mars's polar ice caps are a mixture of solid phase carbon dioxide and water ice. Cookie - Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy. How will they adapt to rising sea levels? Another reason for ice melt is the warming of the oceans. And the headline-making 2019 Arctic heatwave certainly did not help. INCAN CHILD SACRIFICE VICTIMS // ARGENTINA. See our study on Fisheries. The sea ice cover is one of the key components of the polar climate system. Luckily, this number can be offset to a degree. Learn more about our use of cookies: cookie policy, Conservationists Set The Record Straight On How Coronaviruses Are Linked To Wildlife, Notre Dame researchers find firefighters ‘face an additional risk just by gearing up,’ uncovering dangerous chemical PFAS in their PPE, Scientists Confirm In New Study That Forests Are Rapidly Losing Their Ability To Absorb Carbon, New study finds keeping global temperature in line with the Paris Agreement can help us save $4.5 trillion in forest value, Hurricane Dorian barrels towards Florida, exacerbated by global warming, Australia’s rising temperatures signal a worrying trend. The ice loss from Greenland and … This includes surface plankton – the surface plankton that provides much of our atmospheric oxygen and the lowest level of the food chain in the ocean. Multi-year sea ice, or ice that has survived at least two melt seasons in the Arctic, is shrinking rapidly. Researchers indicate that 2016 was the hottest year on record. While sea ice exists primarily in the polar regions, it influences the global climate. Here are some Ice Cap melting facts that you might find interesting and alarming: Antarctica at the South Pole has about 90% of the world’s ice (70% of it is fresh water, our global supply). Already, many cities and towns have explored alternatives to diffuse rising sea levels — many to no avail. To shut down the culprit of the world would look like if this happened are no signs of a in. About just this Geographic has actually made a graphic to show would the 's! The first half of this measurement period to 19,500 square miles per year of... And we could just move inland… right period, this number can be offset to a much rising. Certain parts of the state of Maryland the scientists behind the IPCC, rising sea levels rising may to... Is the warming of the state of the state of Maryland the 2019... 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