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West antarctic ice sheet - Research Paper Example

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Environmental degradation tends to be the process that results in the comprising of the natural environment owing to varied reasons mostly of human origins, which leads to a shrinking of the biological diversity and deterioration in the general health and quality of environment…
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West antarctic ice sheet
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Download file to see previous pages The irony is that the human species has only one earth to live on and in case the environment of earth degrades beyond a certain level, it could positively jeopardize the very survival of the human species. The thing that needs to be understood is that environment stands to be a closely interconnected and integrated system, and it relies for its well being on a range of biological, geological, geographical and physical systems and features like animal and plant species, weather systems, water currents, atmospheric phenomena, water bodies, mountain ranges, air currents, glaciers, ice sheets, etc (Johnson 167). In that context, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet stands to be an important constituent of and a major determinant of the environmental health in the current times. Varied experts and research groups are urgently pointing to the fact that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is one of the Earth’s salient ice sheets, could eventually collapse going by the augmenting pace of global warming, thereby leading to drastic climatic and environmental changes (Plimer 9).
Simply speaking, an ice sheet happens to be a large mass of glacial land ice with a span of more than fifty thousand square kilometers (Allaby 79). During the ice age, many important ice shields covered large expanses of land in North America, Europe and varied other parts of the world. However, in the current times there are only two surviving ice sheets that are the Greenland ice sheet and the Antarctic ice sheet (Allaby 79). Ice sheets are formed only in those areas where the snow accumulated during the winters does not totally melt during the summers (Allaby 79). Over a long period of time spanning across thousands of years, this snow gives way to large masses of ice which further get compressed and packed as the new snow presses the snow from previous years (Allaby 80).
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