ENG 102 – 32816
8 Oct. 2008
Climate Change’s Effects on Glacial Melting
On the sheltered slopes of the highest peaks in Glacier National Park, in Montana, the beautiful and majestic landmasses known as glaciers are quickly melting away. These giant landmasses are found all over the world, on both North and South Poles, on all seven continents, and even on the high peaks in the tropical regions near the equator. Over the past few decades, the global climate has been subject to vast changes throughout every square inch of the world. Temperature increases in the global atmosphere have led to the accelerated vanishing of glaciers on a significant scale. Hypothetically, the complete melting of all the world’s glaciers would, at its highest impact, end the existence of every living organism on this planet, mainly due to the seventy meter rise in sea level! (Weimer). The uncontrollable floods, non-availability of fresh water for drinking and irrigation to grow food, and a colossal rise in sea level would not only depopulate coastal regions, but it would kill all of the animals that depend on glacial runoff water to survive. This, in turn, would destroy eco-systems that have made glaciers and their runoff water a part of their habitats and daily lives. By recognizing the potential for these catastrophic events to occur, people need to understand the characteristics of glaciers, climate change, and figure out why the two are not mixing, which in short, is the problem.
The gigantic, beautiful, and majestic landmasses that are formed from thousands of years of snow and ice accumulation are called glaciers. Most of the time, glaciers move through valleys and large riverbeds in which the glacier carves through the rock like a knife slicing through hot butter. This comparison is not exactly true because most glaciers move at such a slow rate of speed, at only a meter or even a half a meter per year, it takes many thousands of years to create the affects that are...