Case Study: Glacier Change In Antarctica

Ian Alberts, BIOL118 Dr. Hochwender: Glacier change in Antarctica Looking specifically at the temperature changes in Antarctica, the last 120 years have seen a noticeable rise (Davies 2017). Normally, such drastic changes could be explained by Antarctic Oscillation, defined as different winds changing strength and direction, but these temperature changes are too drastic to blame it on anything we have ever witnessed in history. Greenhouse gasses entering the atmosphere since the industrial revolution have only increased. A rise in industry has led to methane and carbon dioxide levels on the Earth to be at the highest point they have been in the last 650,000 years. Melting of ice in Antarctica has led to a decrease in overall ice shelves, because …show more content…
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Harvey, C. Melting Arctic sea ice should be disrupting the oceans' circulation-with major consequences. The Washington Post [Internet].
Mcsweeney, R. Warmer oceans driving Antarctic Peninsula glacier melt. CarbonBrief [Internet]. Ian Alberts, BIOL118 Dr. Hochwender: Climate Change: Global Sea
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A steady trend has developed over the last few decades, and it entails sea levels rising, on average, at a rate of 3.4 mm per year (Lindsey 2017). In fact, 1993 had the highest ocean levels satellites had ever recorded, and today we are 3.2 inches higher than that 1993 average. Rising ocean levels have two main contributors: shrinking of glaciers and ice sheets, and the expansion of ocean water as more heat is added to the system. Both are related, because as glaciers thin out, and more ice is converted to water, heat from the sun is more easily absorbed because of the dark nature of liquid water. More heat is entering the system, and it is accounted for by the expanding of the ocean water. This creates many problems, but this article chooses to focus on the impact rising ocean levels will have on major cities and freshwater reserves. Most large cities are located near some body of water, because, historically, large-scale trade is generally easier when done so by ginormous storage ships. If ocean levels continue to rise at the rates they have been for the last few decades, up to 40 percent of the US population could be at risk with varying consequences. Obvious things like job relocation, infrastructure loss, and leakage of waste all have the potential to be commonplace as ocean expands. Not to mention other little yet potentially still just as detrimental

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