The Arctic Zone Essay

2060 words - 8 pages

The Arctic ZoneThe Arctic areas have been known for their never-ending ski slopes andtheir beautiful snow and ice glaciers. Lately, though there has been concern thatthese natural beauties are deteriorating at a rapid rate of speed. As a matter offact, there is so much concern that if the ice continues to melt at the current rate,in less then 20 years there will be no arctic areas left. The major cause forconcern is the effect of deforestation and global warming; these consequenceswould be catastrophic. This paper will address some of the issues ofdeforestation and global warming in the Arctic and its effect of people, animals,the earth and the sea.What is happening?The Arctic is melting. Scientist discovered melting ice in places such asthe Arctic and Greenland long ago. A four-year study of the Arctic climaterevealed the reason for this thaw could be linked directly to carbon dioxideemissions and their greenhouse gases. The study concluded that in Alaska,Western Canada, and eastern Russia, average temperatures have increased byas much as 4 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 4 degrees Celsius) in the past 50years, nearly twice the global average. Temperatures are projected to rise 7 to13 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 7 degrees Celsius) over the next hundred years(Handwerk, 2004, p.1.).The temperatures are likely to cause melting of at least half of the ArcticSea's ice by the end of the century. A significant portion of the Greenland ice-sheetwhich contains enough water to raise the worldwide sea level by about 23feet (about 7 meters) - would also melt. Brian Handwerk (2004) noted in thearticle "The Arctic melting fast, may swamp U.S. Coasts by 2099". If thissituation is not remedied the consequences would be devastating.The health and food security of some indigenous people would bethreatened; this would challenge the survival of some cultures. Without the Ice inthe Arctic, that area's animals such as polar bears and some seal species wouldbe left with no habitat and would eventually become extinct. The higher waterlevels could flood low-lying land and the increase in fresh water in the oceancould also adversely effect the animals and fish that live there. If this did happenthe climate that we know today will change drastically.Susan Joy Hassol, an independent global warming analyst and author ofthe Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) synthesis report Impacts of aWarming Arctic has this to say: "We found that scientific observations and thoseof indigenous people over many generations are meshing." Hassol said from herDenver office. "Sea ice is retreating, glaciers are reducing in size, permafrost isthawing, all [these indicators] provide strong evidence that it has been warmingrapidly, in the Arctic in recent decades. I think that, from a scientist point of view,we try to present facts," she said. "It really is a fact in order to slow climatechange we need to start now. A climate system is like a supertanker, you can'tturn on a dime so you have to...

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