Melting Glaciers in Antarctica: Indicates the Intensity of Global Warming


Global warming is destroying our planet day by day. Scientists had noticed that the glaciers of Antarctica are melting for this global temperature rise. It is considered to be the coldest region of earth. Temperature has increased more than 40 degree in this area. On March 18 the Concordia Research Institute of Antarctica recorded –12 degree Celsius temperature which is above 40 degree from normal. In March generally the temperature varies from -50 degree to -53 degree Celsius. But this time it reached -12 degrees Celsius which means it has increased by about 40 degrees from normal.

The coldest region of earth is facing heat waves which is worrisome for the planet. The main reasons for this heat waves were climate change and high pressure in South-eastern part of Australia. This pressure had created warm and humid air in Antarctica. Glaciers are melting very fast and if it continues then it can end life on earth.

The glaciers are actually store house of ice from ancient times. Many parts of land will submerge in water slowly if these glaciers melt down. We are witnessing sea level rise is many parts of the world which is one of its consequences. In some places these glaciers are sources of water, like in Himalayan region. But Antarctica have 50 times more ice than these glaciers of different mountains. So, if these glaciers melt then the temperature will rise more than 60 degree and there will be extreme shortage of drinking water. The life in earth will come to an end.

Causes of Global Warming and Climate Change

One of the most dangerous consequence of increasing greenhouse gasses is “Greenhouse Effect”. For this Greenhouse effect, atmosphere traps the heat radiation inside the Earth and the heat cannot travel out to the space. It results to global warming.

There are some gases which blocks heat from going out of atmosphere are – Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Chlorofluorocarbon etc. These are called Greenhouse gasses. Methane is produced from natural sources like decomposition of wastes in landfills, agriculture especially rice cultivation and manure management associated with domestic livestock. Whereas Nitrous Oxide is more powerful greenhouse gas which is mainly created from cultivation, commercial and organic fertilizers and fossil fuel combustion. Chlorofluorocarbon generally created from industries and it plays a huge role in destruction of ozone layer. This greenhouse effect will warm the oceans and melt down glaciers. Water expands in volume after melting from ice and also when it warms, as a result it will lead to sea level rise.

Burning fossil fuel can lead to high CO2 emission which will contribute to global warming. For example, more than 73% of electricity produced in Australia is from burning coal and this leads to high CO2 emission in the atmosphere. Things are getting worse when we are cutting trees and destroying forests. Green trees absorb carbon dioxide from air and releases oxygen. But we are destroying green trees and forests, which can save us.

Consequences of Global Warming

Many people have misconception that climate change will happen in future, which is not correct it is an ongoing process. Global temperature had rose about 1.1 degree Celsius from 1901 to 2020. Drought, Flood, Shrinking Glaciers, Sea level rise all these natural disasters are the consequences of global warming.

Climate change will also affect the health of people. Coastlines along the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and in sub-Saharan Africa is having higher risks of health effects for climate change. As per WHO, global warming can lead to major increase in insect-borne diseases specially in Europe. Malaria is a major insect-borne disease which can spread rampant in Africa and Europe for global warming.

Prolonged periods of high temperatures or heat waves can have severe health consequences on elderly and sick people. Most common health consequences are hyperthermia or heatstroke. For example, in 2003 heatwaves had claimed more than 35000 lives in Europe.

Possible Solutions of Global Warming

  1. Using Renewable sources of energy like – Wind, Sunlight etc.
  2. Saving energy through energy-efficient electric appliances like LED bulbs.
  3. Planting of more and more trees, reforestation probably is the most effective way to prevent global warming.
  4. Making strict policies for protecting environment and wildlife.
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