A Pandora's Box of Problems Waiting to Open Essay
Ice is …show more content…
Conveyor Belt Theory
There’s another reason why Antarctica is not melting at anywhere near the rate of the Arctic Ocean, and it’s called the Ocean Conveyor Belt. This theory has been found to have some problems, due to over simplification of the processes, which is what we’re about to do. Basically, there is a very complex system called the Meridional Overturning Current, which the Gulf Stream is a part of, which picks up heat from the Southern ocean and brings it up to the Northern Atlantic. As it goes North, it cools and sinks through a process known as convection and then goes back down to the Southern Ocean. This helps Antarctica stay colder. Although, it may soon become more of a problem as the MOC may begin to be slowing, possible due to runoff from Siberian permafrost or the Greenland ice sheet due to global warming. This problem has not started to occur yet although is predicted to occur, due to hypotheses that rapid cooling 12,000 years ago came about as a result of melting glaciers altering ocean’s salinity and slowing down the MOC (Dunbar, 2010). This disruption could warm the Southern Oceans and lead to much bigger problems with Antarctica’s ice, although, thankfully, not at the moment.