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The relationship between polar bears, antarctic ice sheet, sea level rise and humans - Essay Example

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22 March 2011. The relationship between polar bears, Antarctic ice sheet, sea level rise and humans: Sea level is expected to rise in level by as many as 7 to 12 inches as a result of the readily melting glaciers all over the world and particularly in Antarctica and Greenland…
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The relationship between polar bears, antarctic ice sheet, sea level rise and humans
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22 March The relationship between polar bears, Antarctic ice sheet, sea level riseand humans: Sea level is expected to rise in level by as many as 7 to 12 inches as a result of the readily melting glaciers all over the world and particularly in Antarctica and Greenland. A research was recently conducted to study the effect of gravity changes on the melting rate of ice in Antarctica “as measured by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite” (Deem). As a result of the study, it was found that every year, 153 km3 of ice is melting away which is quite sufficient to cause an overall increase of 2 inches in the sea level every century. The research found variation in the extent of loss of ice in various regions of the continent of Antarctica. It was found that nearly all of the loss of ice happened in the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet. In another research, the volume of ice in Antarctica and Greenland was examined from 1992 to 2002 with the help of satellite radar altimetry. This study verified the findings of the previous study discussed above. Many species of animals are totally dependent upon the pack ice conditions. For polar bears, pack ice of the sea is the source of food and the place to live in. If the existing rate of melting of ice sustains for few more years, loss of ice in the sea will be sufficient to cause an altogether extinction of the polar bears. There has been some consideration about relocating them to Antarctica, but this would have its own repercussions. The drastic shifting might endanger the life of other Antarctic species along with that of the polar bears. Life of polar bears is endangered by the rapidly melting ice in the sea which is fundamentally happening because of an overall rise in the temperature of Earth caused by the global warming. Increase in the extent of CO2 in the atmosphere is the primary reason for the increase in global warming, and the major producers of CO2 on Earth are humans. Ever since the start of human life on Earth, man has caused harms to the environment in one way or another. Man’s contribution to the destruction of natural environment increased manifolds in the recent centuries with the evolution of industrialization. Figure below shows the trends of release of carbon since 1775. Rate of carbon emission from 1750 to 2000 (Deem). From the figure, it is clear that carbon emission has increased readily since the past three centuries, and so has the global warming. The massive increase in the emission of greenhouse gases has raised their content in the atmosphere enough to cause the glaciers to melt away. Thus the water from glaciers is adding to the volume of seas, and the level of sea is rising. The melting of Antarctic ice sheet will possibly extinguish the polar bears in near future. Thus humans are the producers of global warming which serves as a catalyst in the melting of Antarctic ice sheet to raise the sea level and perish the polar bears from Earth. Works Cited: Deem, Rich. “Global Warming: Will Human-Induced Climate Change Destroy the World?” 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. . Read More
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