The Problem of the Ice Melting

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The problem of the ice melting
The melting of polar ice is primarily caused by the increasing amount of gas emissions, mainly CO2 rising into the atmosphere (global warming) Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Since the early 20th century, Earth's mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C. Scientists are more than 90% sure that it is caused by rising amount of concentrations of greenhouse gases, which are produced by human activities e.g. the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. The warmer the atmosphere is, the more the ice is going to melt which then causes a rise in the water levels, putting countries such as Denmark at risk of being flooded as they are situated below sea level. As well as that, with the ice melting, organisms which rely on the frozen environment become affected when it alters, e.g. the Ward Ice Shelf had contained a unique freshwater lake, however it splintered due to melting and the lake and the ecosystem it contained drained into the Arctic Ocean. This has impacted on the animals, as polar bears, walruses and seals were made to migrate to different regions for find food, making it more difficult to survive. METHODS USES TO OBTAIN DATA

Figure 1, taken from http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/ is the arctic sea ice volume anomaly from the PIOMAS. The daily sea ice volume anomalies are relative to the 1979-2011 average for that particular day of the year. The trend for 1979-present is in blue, which shows a decrease in sea ice volume. The shaded areas show the variations from the trend, whilst the error bars show the possibility of error of the monthly anomaly which is plotted once per year. Figure 1, taken from http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/ is the arctic sea ice volume anomaly from the PIOMAS. The daily sea ice volume anomalies are relative to the 1979-2011 average for that particular day of the year. The trend for 1979-present is in blue, which shows a decrease in sea ice volume. The shaded areas show the variations from the trend, whilst the error bars show the possibility of error of the monthly anomaly which is plotted once per year. The volume of the Arctic sea ice is calculated using the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS), which was developed at the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory/Polar Science Center. PIOMAS puts sea ice concentrations made by satellites into model calculations to estimate sea ice thickness and volume. Submarine and satellite observations help increase the reliability of the model results.

Figure 1
Figure 1

This data is evidence of the arctic sea ice volume decreasing, which is possibly a result of increasing greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide. Figure 2
Figure 2
Figure 3 shows the amount of CO2 produced per million, which has fluctuated regularly however it has dramatically increased since 1950 according to this graph, which coordinates with figure 9 as from 1980 onwards shows a decrease in sea ice volume.

Another way of obtaining data is the Cryosat-2. The Cryosat-2 is a European space agency environmental research satellite which was launched in April 2010. It measures the thickness across the entire Arctic Ocean basin, which is useful for climate change as any decrease in the thickness of the ice could be a result from increasing greenhouse gases. Figure 3

Figure 3

POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM: RE-FREEZING THE ICE
The idea of refreezing the ice was inspired by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, where 20 megatons of sulfur dioxide was erupted into the atmosphere and managed to cool all of Northern… Figure 4

Figure 4

As the figure 4 shows, in the stratosphere it heats up due to the volcano Mount Pinatubo erupting however in the lower atmosphere it has cooled down because the ash (sulphur) cloud has shielded the...
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