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Impact Of Global Warming On The Ocean

1829 words - 8 pages

The ocean is the largest water body that covers 70% of the Earth’s surface. In this giant pool, thousands of known and unknown species thrive and create massive food web and environment. For several centuries ocean had and still is providing us with seafood, salt, minerals, transportation, and even leisure. However, in return, humans had leaked toxic chemicals, dumped trash, over-captured fishes and sea organisms, and destroyed environment and geography. Also, due to humans’ ever growing carbon usage from burning fossil fuel had made Earth and ocean temperature unnaturally hot. Today, as the result, the ocean had become a rotten pot of seafood and toxin. Although regret is always too late, if people realize this danger as an imminent threat and change, it is possible to revive the ocean.
Global Warming
Global warming is one of the biggest environmental issues not just for the ocean, but also for the entire Earth. The global warming is caused by greenhouse gases such as the carbon dioxide and methane, which create an invisible cover around the Earth. The cover or the atmosphere with the green house gases lets in the sunlight but do not let the reflected light back into the outer space. This is known as the greenhouse effect.
Ice Caps Are Melting
The global warming had great impact on Artic ice. From 1979, more than 20% of Arctic ice has melted away due to increased surface air and ocean temperatures (Farmer 9). Also, the accumulated area loss is approximately a third of continental US. Although, melting of sea ice does not directly contribute to sea level rise because this ice is already floating on the ocean, it contributes to sea level rise in another indirect way. First, the ice’s albedo effect has a major role in reflecting sunlight. Albedo is surface reflectivity, meaning it works like a mirror to bounce off the sunlight back to the outer space (Farmer 13). Then, the melting of the sea ice leads to a reduction of albedo and allows greater absorption of solar radiation. More solar radiation absorbed accelerates warming and cause the melting of snow and ice on land to increase. Also, further break up of the floating ice shelves will allow a faster flow of ice on land into the oceans, thereby providing an additional contribution to sea level rise.
Due to the sudden disappearance of ice in the Arctic, the ecosystems and communities in and on the ice are being destroyed. Primary victim of the global warming is the polar bear. In just 50 years, the polar bear population has decreased to one third (Washington 1995). As more ice is melting away, more and more hunting grounds for bears are disappearing. A lot of bears are starving to death or drowning due to this phenomenon. The loss of food supply has also resulted in adult male polar bears to hunt cubs from female polar bears. If this trend continues, there won’t be any polar bears to come out in the Coca Cola commercials.
Along with polar bears, many indigenous people such as the Inuit are...

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