The Effects of Climate Change in the Artic Region
Word Count: 1,110
Forum: National Geographic magazine
I pledge on my honor that this is a plagiarism-free essay
Fifty years ago, people could say global warming or climate change is not a thing, but today climate change is very evident. Climate change is no longer a secret, especially when you look at the amount of sea ice lost in the Artic Ocean. The effect of climate change has had a detrimental impact, increasing the global temperature and making the sea level rise. Vast amounts of forests have been cut clear for agriculture and other purposes, thousands of tons of carbon dioxide has been dissolved into the Earth’s ozone, greenhouse gases continue to affect global temperatures and cause heat waves. This rapid development and destruction of the earth over the past century has caused these influences of climate change and are contributing to the loss of sea ice in the Artic Ocean. The melting of sea ice in the Artic Ocean is a serious effect of climate change and if we do not change now things will just get worse. During the last century, there have been more inventions and technological breakthroughs than the whole of history. For a long period of time now, people have not been thinking about the consequences of mass development.
Today it is getting even more obvious that the temperature across the whole planet is increasing and continuing to increase a little each year. Because of this, the Artic glaciers are melting faster and the sea level continues to rise. Sea ice that was historically compact and stretched for miles is now bands of ice sheets that spread out over hundreds of miles. The loss in the amount of sea ice will be a serious threat, especially for countries that are located not too high above the sea level. If the sea ice continues to melt as well as the increase in sea level, this will negatively affect species that are already endangered such as the polar bear, which will become extinct with the loss of sea ice as they rely on the sea ice for getting their food, “In May 2008, the U.S listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, citing sea ice losses in the Arctic from global warming as the single biggest threat to polar bears.” (Shenk, 4) Already, more polar bears around the Artic Ocean are being forced to swim hundreds of miles to find land because the ice sheets they would usually use during the winter to find their food are all melting. This is also forcing them to come in contact with humans more often because they do not have any other option but to join them on land. Many scientists around the world are being taken aback by the swiftness of the Artic sea ice retreat. Mainly due to the rise in global temperature, NASA says on their website, “The Earth's average temperature has increased about 1 degree Fahrenheit during the 20th century.” (NASA, sec.1) Although that does not seem like much, it can have devastating effects and has already started to make changes to the earth’s climate that cannot be reversed. These effects include the shrinking of the Artic glaciers, the breaking up and melting of sea ice earlier in the year, plant and animal ranges have been shifting and are getting smaller, trees are flowering sooner, and bird migrations have been altered. With the warming of the earth, the Artic Ocean’s sea ice will continue to melt and thin. The climate and overall health of the earth will continue to change as the temperature continues to increase.
Due to the sun’s radiation, greater amounts of water are now being absorbed. This is advancing the warming of the region and shifting warm air and ocean temperatures in the Arctic. Warmer air is being pulled into the Arctic, and this warmer air is mixing with the cool air, which is creating more intense storms in summer. These storms drive the ice out of the Arctic basin, and also break