Glacial Melting: Cause, Effect, And Solution

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Glacial Melting – Cause, Effect, and Solution
People and animals around the world need clean water year-round to drink and to use for growing crops and vegetation. Increased glacial melting is one casualty of global warming, which is caused by increased greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, and ozone (EPA.gov, 2013;NASA, 2015), which tend to absorb infrared radiation (i.e. heat) that was emitted by the earth’s surface, which would have otherwise gone out to space (Professor Arnott, W. P , personal communication). A glacier is made up of fallen snow, which over many years compresses into thickened ice masses and are unique, in the fact that they can move or flow like very slow rivers
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P, personal communication, June 26, 2015). The glaciers reflective properties are also being diminished due to an increased black carbon (BC) particles or soot which are covering the glaciers (Schmitt et al., 2015). Humans need to change the emissions and energy base to reduce the greenhouse effect defined as “warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space” (NASA. 2015). Glaciers are crucial to the earths’ ecosystem because they help keep the earth cool by reflecting the suns radiant heat. Glaciers are also important because they are natural sources of drinking water and for water used in growing crops and vegetation; in some locations, glacial melting is the only source of clean water. It is critical that one does their part to help reduce the greenhouse gases to help reduce global warming and slow the melt rate of glaciers. What are the current large actions being taken to help reduce the output of greenhouse …show more content…
In an experiment in mountains of Peru, on the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, which at the highest point was 19,000 feet in altitude, scientist took measurements of the light-absorbing particles that are being deposited on the surface of glaciers (Schmitt et al., 2015 p. 331). Much of the deposits found on glaciers are glacier powder and soot; as glaciers flow, they grind up the rocks into a fine powder known as glacier powder while soot is caused from industrial methods which cause black carbon (i.e. black smoke that comes from a diesel engine or the emissions from a coal fired power plant) (Professor Arnott, W. P, personal communication, June 26, 2015). Professor Arnott continues, “This is important to the earths’ weather system, because the effects of increased particles on the surface of the glacier cause more solar radiation to be absorbed by the glacier” (June 26, 2015). Professor Arnott explained

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