Why Are Glaciers Receding and What Is the Human Impact?

Topics: Earth, Global warming, Water Pages: 2 (896 words) Published: October 19, 2010
Why are glaciers receding and what is the human impact?
Glaciers although very impressive to look at, actually do have a purpose within our environment. Although many people believe that glaciers are not necessary, they already have been formed and without them it will have a serious impact on environment. Many people fear that without glaciers sea levels will rise, ultimately drowning various land masses and consuming certain areas all over the globe. Within my paper I will be discussing what a glacier is, why they are receding, the direct affect they have on humans and what we can do to prevent this from further happening. Glaciers are made up of fallen snow that, over many years, has compressed into large, thickened ice masses. When snow remains in one location long enough it will transform into ice. The most unique quality of glaciers is their ability to move and store large amounts of water. Due to their mass, glaciers flow very slowly like rivers. Some glaciers are as small as football fields, while others grow to be over a hundred kilometers long. Glaciers currently occupy about 10 percent of the world's total land area, mostly located in Polar Regions like Antarctica and Greenland (Kevin Mathias). Glaciers are thought to be remnants from the last Ice Age, when ice covered nearly 32 percent of the land, and 30 percent of the oceans. However; over the last century most of Earth's 160,000 glaciers have been slowly shrinking as the climate warms up from both natural causes and human activity. Although it may be a mute point among most humans’ glaciers are an essential for our existence on earth. Glacial melting over the past century can be traced to global warming. Global warming is the rise in average global temperature caused by the recent industrialization of the world which was made possible by fossil fuels which emit greenhouse gasses. These greenhouse gasses over time have burned holes in the ozone allowing more ultraviolent rays into the earth’s...
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