Benefits of Recycling.com is presenting this series of pages on global warming becaue we believe there is evidence to support it is real. Even so, we are open to be proven wrong, which is why there are pages on why it is not real. Fair is fair.
The truth is we just want people to be aware that human activities (as well as natural causes) have the possibility of creating adverse effects in the US, Antarctica, Greenland, and throughout the world.
Whether you believe global warming is real or not, we invite you to read what we have uncovered on the many pages of this site… and beyond. Remember, knowledge is power.
Global Warming Antarctica / The Outlook
Global warming has increased rapidly during the past few decades and consequently warmer temperatures in the Antarctic summer are causing massive ice sheets to break up and float away. It is potentially an enormous problem and if this trend continues, the Antarctic ice caps may begin to melt and cause sea-level rises globally measured in meters.
There are a great many cities around the world that are on the coast and they would be flooded and probably have to be abandoned. In many countries, especially poorer countries a large part of the population living in coastal regions faces similar threat. In some cases entire island nations (albeit small ones) in the Pacific Ocean could simply disappear.
Global Warming Antarctica / The Disappearing Ice Shelves
Several events have happened in the past that reinforce the above-mentioned theory. To start with, the 770 square mile (1,994 km2) Larsen A ice shelf disintegrated suddenly in January 1995. Secondly, the break-up of the Larsen B ice shelf in early 2002 has been also attributed to the effects of global warming.
The Larsen B ice shelf was about 220m thick (720 feet) and during a 35 day period in early 2002 lost about 3,250 km2 of ice into the ocean. It is thought to have been in existence for at least 400 years. Overall in the Antarctic Peninsula, seven ice shelves have between them declined in area by about 13,500 km2 since 1974.
Moreover, the permanent ice cover of nine lakes on Signey Island has decreased by about 45% since the 1950s.
Global Warming Antarctica / Wilkins Ice Shelf
The latest victim of rising temperature, Wilkins Ice Shelf is the largest slab of ice so far to disintegrate and retreat in the Antarctic. Until recently, it was anchored to the Charcot and Latady islands by an ice bridge. On April 5, 2009, the ice bridge snapped leading to huge (41 by 2.5 km) km2 berg being broken away.
The Wilkins Ice Shelf, which is on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, is believed to be the same size as Jamaica.
Global Warming Antarctica / The Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula, particularly the west coast of the Peninsula is warming at a rate 2 or 3 times faster than the global average. The average annual temperature of this region has increased about 2.5Â°C in the last 50 years.
The Antarctic Peninsula also represents only about 4% of the whole continent, the other 96% appears to have had a stable temperature over the last 40 years to the extent where the most remarkable aspect is the stability compared to other parts of the world.
There is no unusual significant loss of ice of any kind from the larger 96% of Antarctica that is not the Peninsula. Rising temperature causes ice shelves to break up – as they are floating already this will not affect sea levels, it may cause the glaciers behind them to speed up their flow-rate considerably. These glaciers will add to sea level rise if they melt.
Global Warming Antarctica / Marine and Terrestrial Life
The marine and terrestrial life in Antarctica is also getting drastically affected by global warming. Antarctica’s only two flowering plant species that grow only on the Peninsula have spread considerably in the last few decades.
In some areas they are becoming the dominant species. AdÃ©lie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) have also been suffering a steady decline in parts of the Antarctic Peninsula region for the last 20 years.
Moreover, studies (November 2004) have shown that stocks of krill in Antarctica have declined dramatically in recent years. Krill numbers may have dropped by as much as 80% since the 1970’s.
The decline in krill may in turn account for the decline in the numbers of some penguin species. Besides, climate change is about to cause a major upheaval in the shallow marine waters of Antarctica. Predatory crabs are poised to return to warming Antarctic waters and disrupt the primeval marine communities.
All these facts prove that change is coming quickly — and dramatically — in this land of ice.
Global Warming Antarctica / Sources
For more information on Global Warming follow these links: