Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

The truth about the melting of ice caps

It is clear that the Earth will not be the same if the climate change continues. The effects are thought to be terrible for many people , including Tim Folger, but according to Ben Gaul, they will do more good than warm. It seems that the sea levels will rise but not until the effects are clear will we know what is the truth.

Tim Folger, who writes for “National Geographic” offers a pesimistic view of the melting of ice caps:

“A profoundly altered planet is what our fossil-fuel-driven civilization is creating, a planet where Sandy-scale flooding will become more common and more destructive for the world’s coastal cities. By releasing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, we have warmed the Earth by more than a full degree Fahrenheit over the past century and raised sea level by about eight inches. Even if we stopped burning all fossil fuels tomorrow, the existing greenhouse gases would continue to warm the Earth for centuries. We have irreversibly committed future generations to a hotter world and rising seas.”

sea_level_rising_371845

Besides, he explains how sea levels are affected:

“Global warming affects sea level in two ways. About a third of its current rise comes from thermal expansion—from the fact that water grows in volume as it warms. The rest comes from the melting of ice on land. So far it’s been mostly mountain glaciers, but the big concern for the future is the giant ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. ”

On the other hand, Ben Gaul thinks that the effects of global warming will not affect the sea levels:

“First consider the Northern ice cap. Contrary to popular misconception, there is no “land” under the North Pole. It consists entirely of ice floating on deep water. Instead of becoming denser as it turns from a liquid to a solid, water expands. Ice is actually 10 percent less dense than liquid water, so it occupies 10 percent more space. This is why icebergs float and only 10 percent of their true bulk shows above water.

If the Northern ice cap melted completely, there would be zero change in sea levels. To see how this works, put a few ice cubes in a glass; fill it to the brim with water, then place it near a heat source. If the climate change camp were correct, the glass would overflow and water would pour out. Instead, the water level will remain exactly the same, then drop slowly as the water evaporates.”

SLR-Sea-level-rise

He even dares to say that the effects will be favourable:

“Higher temperatures would actually lead to more snowfall, which would only increase the amount of ice on the continent.”

REFERENCES: -Tim Folger, September 2013, from “Rising Seas”, retrieved on December 18, 2013: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/folger-text

-Ben Gaul, December 14, 2013, from “Global Warming Will Benefit Mankind, If It Happens”, retrieved on December 18,2013: http://guardianlv.com/2013/12/global-warming-will-benefit-mankind-if-it-happens/

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