As I was looking through the internet during some of my free time tonight, I came upon a National Geographic article concerning the receding Arctic Ice. The article went on to explain that one of the main reasons for ice sheet recession was due to the formation of young, thin ice. The arctic ice expanded to some of the lowest levels on record. When compared to records from 1974-2000, as National Geographic shows, arctic ice coverage has decreased at an average of about 278,000 sq miles, or about the size of Texas. Think of all of the implications this can have on many aspects of life on Earth.
Sea levels will rise as a result of less ice formation. I know, who cares about sea level rise. Johnstown, PA is in the mountains and the beach would be a closer travel destination. However, recently I read an article in GSA Today about the impact of sea level rise on Pacific Island Atolls. The author of the article suggests that (I think it’s around a meter) in sea level rise will inundate most of the islands, misplacing thousands of individuals from their homes, making the islands uninhabitable. Furthermore, associated with ice melt is climate change. Global Warming is a touchy subject and I do not wish to become involved in it. However, the evidence is there for a warming climate with less ice at the poles. With climate change comes new human migration. With human migration into other people’s lands comes the tendency for conflict and the start of humanitarian crises. And don’t forget about the polar bears….
I see that I went off on a tangent there. But my point is clear. While the Arctic seems far away, the disappearance of an ice cap will create changes and challenges for the entire world population.
Here’s the link for the ice sheet story: