The effects of global warming in the Arctic, or climate change in the Arctic include rising air and water temperatures, loss of sea ice, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet with a related cold temperature anomaly, observed since the 1970s. Now, the phenomenon is getting worse and the temperature of the hearth’s surface is growing. Sea levels are predicted to drastically rise. Because they mostly live in the coastal regions near the arctic, they depend on sea ice as a means for transportation and hunting. Her stint as Manager of the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in California's gold country served to deepen her interest in science which she now fulfills by writing for online science websites. Another effect of polar ice caps melting is that temperature of the water is also increasing. The salt content of ocean water, including arctic waters, changes when polar ice melts, because it doesn’t contain any salt. Another effect of the polar ice caps melting is the rise of the sea levels. More Polar Ice Caps Facts As more heat is absorbed by the oceans, it creates a “positive feedback loop” that essentially changes the atmosphere’s and ocean’s circulation. This could happen, but no one knows when it might happen. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets influence both day-to-day weather and long-term climate. Getting Fresh: Will a Warming Climate Disrupt the Gulf Stream and Other Essential Ocean Currents? Arctic sea ice helps to regulate the climate by keeping it cool. The thickness of the Arctic Ice has decreased by 40% since the 1960s. And it doesn’t stop with the climate. After the Larsen B Antarctic ice shelf broke up in … A recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that by the time a person born in 2017 reaches 33, sea levels could rise as much as 2 to 4 1/2 feet, doubling by 2100. For example, the climate of the whole Earth could be adversely affected. According to NASA, the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate of 9% per decade. Interior officials were scheduled to make their decision on polar bears on Jan. 9, but postponed it for a month, citing the complexity of the situation. Most people may not know that icebergs in Arctic waters have little to do with rising seas because the ice floats in the water, already displacing it with its size. But with the ice caps melting it would be hard for them to live. Even small temperature changes in the Arctic can drastically effect weather all over the world. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). If the rising temperature affects glaciers and icebergs, could the polar ice caps be in danger of melting and causing the oceans to rise? The completion of the cycle occurs when the colder water at depth begins to move south and then rises again at the equator as it warms. But the melting of the ice sheets – and lower ice extents during the winter months – means much more than just additional water in the oceans, as the lack of ice at the poles also changes the ocean’s water currents, the jet streams and how weather forms across the planet. The ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica is … The climate is not so hot because the sunlight that strikes the ice caps is reflected back to space. As more heat is absorbed by the oceans, it creates a “positive feedback loop” that essentially changes the atmosphere’s and ocean’s circulation. As the ice melts, their means to support themselves decrease. The effects of the polar ice caps melting are not to be belittled because they could affect the whole world. When they melt, sea level isn't directly affected because this ice is already in the ocean. The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s, according to the most complete analysis to date. 5.1.5 Ice algae grow at the porous bottom of sea ice and form the base of the unique marine food web connected to sea ice. With the polar ice caps melting the ecosystems will be greatly affected. Glaciers are typically located in polar regions and at high elevations in mountains like the Himalayas where the climate is cool and conducive to the conditions required to form them. Sea level rise is a natural consequence of the warming of our planet. According to scientists at the U.S Center for Atmospheric Research, if the current rate of global temperature rise continues, the Arctic will be free of Ice … The polar ice caps that we see today have taken centuries to form and they ve been melting from time to time in order to form lakes and rivers that are essential not only for animal and plant life, but for humans as well all over the world. By nature the polar ice caps have the role of regulating the temperature of the Earth. Greenland’s melting ice sheet will add another 20 feet to sea level rise. The high-altitude tops of the ice caps change storm tracks and create cold downward winds that travel along the ice surface. After 2050, how fast sea levels rise depend on multiple factors. Within the next five to seven years, the ice caps could be completely melted. As this sea ice melts, heat from the sun is absorbed by the oceans – instead of being reflected into space – contributing to warming oceans, water expansion and jet stream changes. Some believe that this melting will cause the next ice age. The effects of the ice caps melting are also going to be tremendous. Today, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere on earth, and the sea ice there is declining by more than 10% every 10 years. But polar bears aren’t the only ones affected. This affects ocean currents that normally move the warm water at the equator back to the arctic in a heat-and-salt-water process called t__hermohaline circulation. Anthrax is not the only virus frozen beneath the permafrost. While the Dennis Quaid movie, “The Day After Tomorrow” referenced this scenario, scientists feel it unlikely that rapid changes that result in a new ice age are unlikely, as the oceans don’t move heat and cold as quickly as the atmosphere does. As a journalist and editor for several years, Laurie Brenner has covered many topics in her writings, but science is one of her first loves. One well-known current that would be affected by this is the Gulf Stream. The long legal process to be considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act began in 2005, when the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a petition with the U.S. The melting of polar ice caps I believe is another severe effect of global warming. The hills of San Francisco would become a series of islands, with an inland sea forming in California’s Central Valley. Ice shelves are massive, floating platforms of ice that surround the ice-covered continents of Antarctica and Greenland. Without effective programs in place to regulate, reduce and eliminate greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone – oceans across the globe may change more than just sea level. The polar ice caps may be melting at a startling rate yet does not have to go on forever. Related impacts include ocean circulation changes, increased input of freshwater, and ocean acidification. As the climate warms, the inevitable response of the cryosphere is enhanced melting. If humans don’t stop adding to global warming, in a mere hundred years, the world as it is now known won’t be the same at all. The real threat in sea level increases come from the Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets, which contain close to 99 percent of all the world’s fresh water. She graduated from San Diego's Coleman College in 1972. The people that live near the coastal areas are in the most danger. How will melting ice respond to, and feedback on, the climate response to increasing greenhouse gases, and what will the impacts be? Ice glaciers are able to deflect almost 80% heat of the sun, absorbing approximately 20% heat. The melting of ice can affect the availability of physical habitats for algae, as well as the temperature and salinity of surface waters, potentially disrupting the whole food web. Changes in the Gulf Stream affects North America and Europe, and could lead to cooler weather over time and radical changes in some weather patterns in just weeks. Los Angeles and San Diego would be underwater, along with Seattle, parts of Portland, Oregon and British Columbia in Canada. The only way to stop this vicious cycle is for all governments around the world to adhere to regulations that reduce and finally eliminate the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This not only affects coastal communities around the world, covering London and other low-lying areas, but it damages global economies as well, requiring citizen evacuations and relocation of major shipping ports and businesses. In other words, the same amount of water occupies more space. When most people think of ice melting at the North and South poles, they automatically think of sea levels rising. In areas where the ground has stayed frozen for centuries, as in Alaska and Siberia, melting permafrost is also suspected as the cause of new outbreaks of diseases. Effects of Melting Ice Glaciers Global Warming. Citizens should be eager to live a more Eco friendly lifestyle. A colossal chunk of Greenland’s ice cap has broken off in the far northeastern Arctic, which scientists believe is further confirmation of rapid climate change. Images of emaciated polar bears floating on small ice blocks in the arctic sea represent some of the more radical effects polar ice melt has on wildlife. Until the 1980s, the Greenland ice sheet did not experience extensive summer melt. Another effect of the polar ice caps melting is the rise of the sea levels. Temperatures across the globe have gone upward, helping the cause of ice glaciers melting faster than required. Arctic ice melt 'already affecting weather patterns where you live right now' The warming Arctic Climate change This article is more than 3 years old. So all together, the melting of polar ice caps effects would include sea levels rising 220 feet or more worldwide. Global effects. Impacts will be global. Examples of these animals are the seals and the polar bears. The cryosphere is the part of the Earth system comprised of frozen water: ice sheets and glaciers, snow, permafrost and sea ice. This is because the researches have shown that the rate of the melting of the ice caps is going on at an alarming rate. For the people who live near the coastline of the Arctic there is the possibility of being flooded. Therefore, when the overall temperature of the water increases, it naturally makes the oceans rise. The same goes for the migratory animals that go to the Arctic; they will also be affected by the polar ice caps melting. Ice is melting at the poles. By decreasing our use of fossil fuels and minimizing are carbon footprint people may slow down the effects. The NASA has stated that until 1933 the rise of global sea levels was only at 1.7 millimeters per year. More than 2,000 reindeer became infected and dozens of people hospitalized after a 75-year old reindeer corpse melted and released the spores across the Yamal Peninsula. But starting 1993 the rate has drastically increased to 3.33 millimeters per year. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Inuits in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing reduced hunting seasons because of increased early spring ice melts. If the ice caps melt then the oceans and the land will absorb the heat of the sunlight making the temperature of the world warmer. It is also possible that with warmer temperature the weather will be more intense. We've seen some effects of this in recent months alone, as large storms have breezed across major cities worldwide, leaving destruction in their wake. The melting of the glaciers is due to men’s behavior.We have seen the first effect starting from the XX century. The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90 percent of the world's ice (and 70 percent of its fresh water). When the Antarctic melts, climate experts state that sea levels can rise to 200 feet and more. The latest … If the ice caps melt then the oceans and the land will absorb the heat of the sunlight making the temperature of the world warmer. This is because they are made up of fallen snow that over many decades compresses down into larger, denser masses of ice. But scientists have learned that floating ice shelves act as dams to glaciers, which are flowing rivers of ice. The sea is estimated to rise 230 feet! Ice caps also do their part in reflecting the sun’s rays, which keep the Earth cooler (see albedo). The issue of polar ice caps melting is becoming a major issue. Lands within the arctic circle’s also trapped methane and other gases when the ground froze. Brenner is also a published sci-fi author. An environmental analyst claims that satellite data collected by NASA revealed polar ice caps have not melted due to global warming. Without a decent reflective shield and solid heat absorption mechanism, the troposphere will further rise in temperature. Rising sea levels would lead to migration from low-lying areas of the planet to areas higher above sea level, which would result in more competition for food and resources in those areas. Scientists posit that the bubonic plague and smallpox are also buried in Siberia’s frozen ground. It is also possible that with warmer temperature the weather will be more intense. But it is clear that although Arctic sea ice only covers a small fraction of the Earth’s surface, there may well be serious climate-related impacts too. In certain places across the world, small ice glaciers have vanished, exposing the Earth below. Anthrax erupted in a small corner of Siberia in August 2016, caused by melting permafrost scientists and doctors theorize. NOAA: Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States, National Public Radio: Anthrax Outbreak in Russia Thought to be Result of Thawing Permafrost, Yale Environment: The Global Impacts of Rapidly Disappearing Artic Sea Ice, Columbia University: How the Warming Artic Affects Us All, National Geographic: What the World Would Look Like if All the Ice Melted. On J… With a climate that continues heating up – and coastal erosion – these numbers could radically increase. When glaciers melt in the ocean, the freshwater tends to stay on top because salt water is heavier. As it thaws, these greenhouse gases get released back into the atmosphere, and add to the global warming cycle. Polar Ice Caps Cause And Effects 1358 Words | 6 Pages. This visualization shows the expanse of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice for each year from 1979 through 2020, with a graph overlay. The water’s density decreases above and below this temperature. The melt then began at low altitudes, and in recent years has spread to the whole ice sheet. The FWS began an initial review of the petition in February 2006 and received more than 500,000 public comments—both supporting and opposing. How fast polar ice disappears depends upon the world’s effectiveness at reducing pollution. Their bodies are designed by nature and evolution to be suitable for the Arctic weather. According to National Geographic's projections of a 216-feet increase in sea level, the entire Eastern seaboard, the Gulf Coast and Florida would disappear. It is be up to the people to being to make a change. Every summer, the Arctic ice cap melts to what scientists call its "minimum" before colder weather begins to cause ice cover to increase. The salt content of ocean water, including arctic waters, changes when polar ice melts, because it doesn’t contain any salt. The following are some of these effects. This is a big concern for the population of the planet. This is especially true for the animals located in the Arctic area. As the ice melts, the arctic sea levels, and thus the other oceans, stay the same, but the weather changes. Which are the causes of the melting of the glaciers?First of all, it is important to know that the causes are not natural. How do melting sea ice and glaciers affect weather patterns? In July 2012, for example, 97 percent of the Greenland ice cap experienced surface melting… You are currently reading "The Effects of Polar Ice Caps Melting", Category: Global warming,Polar Ice Cap Melting, Tags: global warming, ice caps, Polar Ice Caps, Polar Ice Caps Melting, Arctic Sea Ice Has Melted To New Record Levels, Polar Ice Caps Melting May Change the Map of the World. Water achieves the highest density at 4 degrees Celsius. In essence, the melting of the polar ice caps will accelerate global warming, which will, in turn, cause more rapid melting. The global temperature is also affected by the polar ice caps melting. The polar regions are particularly vulnerable to a warming atmosphere. Melting Of The Polar Ice Caps The polar ice caps are melting faster over the last half century moreover than the last five centuries. The infrastructures in the region may literally fall down since the ground will thaw out. Another of the effects of polar ice caps melting is the general warming of the planet. This instability will continue to mean higher prices for you and growing crises for the world’s most vulnerable. Melting Polar Ice Caps The melting of the polar ice caps is caused by the overall increase in global temperature, and this melting can have serious consequences for all organisms on Earth… Average temperatures in the Arctic are rising twice as fast as they are … Tribal leaders also point to the last few decades where increased ice melt and global weather changes no longer allow them to accurately predict weather by using clouds, winds and ocean currents. They will not only affect the ecosystem but they will also affect the climate, the ozone layer, the sea level andmuch more. Some of the effects of polar ice caps melting include rising sea levels. Melting sea ice is also likely to have global consequences by unlocking new shipping routes and exposing more fossil fuel reserves. The polar ice caps have the ability to reflect the sunlight back into space and this ensures that the climate of … Polar vortexes, increased heat waves, and unpredictability of weather caused by ice loss are already causing significant damage to crops on which global food systems depend.