The loss of polar ice over the coming decades will lead to irreversible climate change and alter the face of the planet

Topics: Heat, Climate, Water Pages: 2 (640 words) Published: June 29, 2015
The loss of polar ice over the coming decades will lead to irreversible climate change and alter the face of the planet. The earth as we know it is a unique planet composed of global masses of air, land and sea. Each body interacts with each other in unique physical and biochemical ways and minute changes in one mass can lead to irreversible changes to another. Climatology is that scientific endeavour that monitors climate systems to explain loss of polar ice. The variables impacting climate and polar ice and their delicate relative effect on each other will be discussed with evidence. The physics in the melting of polar ice involves heat transfer between global land masses, air masses and oceans. Heat transfer happens from one body to another by conduction, convection and radiation and can occur at the same time. Anderton1984. According to Harig 2015, Antartica’s Ice sheet lost 92 billion tons of ice per year. Polar ice can take the form of Sea Ice, Glacial ice or the Ice Shelf. Polar ice is of specific interest as it represents the dynamic interface in it’s contact with the ocean and the atmosphere as they gain or lose heat to each other. The amount of heat required or released in the process differs based on the specific heat of each form of matter. Land heats up more quickly than the sea when exposed to the same amount of sun and also cools a lot quicker. The mathematical quantity of heat transfer, loss or gain in a heat transfer is given by Q = MCΔT ie. Given the specific heat of a substance, the amount of heat energy required to raise 1kg of that substance by one Kelvin degree. And so given that the Specific heat of Ice is 2100JKg-1 K-1 , Sea Water is 3900JKg-1 K-1 , and that the thermal conductivity of Air is 0.023 Jm-1 S-1 K-1 , Water is 0.56 Jm-1 S-1 K-1 and Brick is 0.84 Jm-1 S-1 K-1 . So according to this data, it is self-evident that ice changes temperature before water as it takes approx. half the amount of energy to raise one...
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