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Antarctic sea ice melt and its implications - Essay Example

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This floats on water while it is concurrently anchored to the sea bed. The growth of sea ice, its melt and consequent deformation are an…
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Antarctic sea ice melt and its implications
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Antarctic sea ice melt and its implications

Download file to see previous pages... mosphere and polar oceans; and changes the force of ocean buoyancy by redistributing fresh water through transportation and subsequent melting of comparatively fresh sea ice.
Thesis Statement: The purpose of this essay is to investigate Antarctica sea ice melt, examine the ocean-atmosphere interaction, and evaluate the environmental and societal impact of rising sea levels and other impacts of the sea ice melt.
Globally, there is a decline of snow and ice over the past several years, particularly since 1980, with an increasing downturn during the last decade. In the South Pole, the east and west Antarctic Ice Sheets are “two unequal parts, with different histories and characteristics” (Mercer 1978: 323), Figure 1 below. Unlike the vast, older and mostly land-based ice sheet in East Antarctica, the Western Antarctic ice sheet is younger, much smaller and marine-based, anchored to a distance of 2,500 meters below sea level. Further, West Antarctica is not a single continent, but is a series of islands covered by ice, touching the ocean floor, and not based on land (NASA 2010).
Two-thirds of the continent is East Antarctica, a high, frozen desert. If all the ice melted, it would increase the global sea level by about 60 meters or 197 feet. The results from a recent National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/ German Aerospace Center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) study, indicate that since 2006 there has been greater ice loss from interior East Antarctica than earlier believed (Chen et al 2009).
In the Southern Ocean, sea ice forms a fringe around the entire Antarctic continent (Figure 2. below) which is surrounded by the waters of different seas. The Antarctica is subdivided into 5 sectors by researchers, each impacted by diverse geography and weather conditions. This results in greater yearly variations in Antarctic sea ice, as compared to Arctic sea ice (Nasa.Gov 2010).
“Across the Antarctic Peninsula lies one of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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