Melting ice is affecting every part of the world causing increases in wildfires, rises in sea levels that lead to severe flooding, and is leading whales to die out in record numbers.
Global warming and climate change is this generation’s greatest fight. It is the most prevalent topic worldwide, and many business sectors, like the automotive industry, are re-designing their entire industry to make it more climate-friendly. One of the most significant issues from climate change is the melting ice at the polar caps, but how does that really affect the rest of the world?
Over two-thirds of Earth’s freshwater is actually frozen, but as the planet heats up, this water is turning back into liquid. These events are causing a cascade of different weather, environmental and geographical changes.
Within the Arctic Ocean is melting ice sections, which is causing the sun ray’s that usually are reflected again this ice, to be reflected off the ocean. These rays are then causing the ocean to heat up, which in turn heats the air around it. This warmer air is changing weather patterns for the worse.
These new patterns are so fierce that the jet stream that is positioned across America has moved. The movement of the jet stream has resulted in hotter, dryer weather for the West of America. The dry air causes leave and vegetation to become incredibly brittle and dry out, which makes the perfect kindling for wildfires.
This new weather has helped fuel some of the most extensive wildfires that America has ever seen, especially in states like California. So as climate change continues, these wildfires across America will continue.
The West Antarctic ice sheet is another place where melting ice is a problem, causing devastating effects. It is a massive block of ice containing enough water to considerably raise sea levels. As the temperature of the Earth increases, the melting of this large sheet of ice will accelerate and could cause many problems for America.
When the ice melts, the new amount of water does not distribute evenly. When the West Antarctic melts, the new freshwater gets taken up by a specific ocean current and will affect Texas and the surrounding areas.
As well as the Arctic and Antarctic melting ice, there is also a significant amount of ice melting in Greenland, which is entering the Atlantic Ocean. This new development is causing a major problem as the new freshwater is entering a crucial ocean current, causing it to slow down. The recent shift in the pace is increasing the water temperature around the Gulf of Maine, which is heating faster than the rest of the Atlantic Ocean.
While for holidaymakers, this sounds great, the little food that Whales eat, called plankton, is dying in the warmer temperatures, and the abundance of this food is disappearing. These events are again causing an unexpected chain of events in which Whales have to travel longer to places like Canada for food. This has resulted in over twenty whales getting killed by ships or fishing gear, as they are not naturally supposed to swim so far in uncharted waters.
Climate change is causing so many adverse effects that most people do not even realise that they are actually connected to events like the melting ice at the polar caps.