The Arctic has not been much of our concern all these days. However, we should all make the Arctic our concern now as the Arctic ice will all be gone by the year 2040. Earlier scientists had estimated that the arctic ice would be fully gone by the year 2070. This was due to mankind’s interference in nature and the completely preventable heating up of the earth because of the use of fossil fuels. These fossil fuels create greenhouse gasses which in turn traps heat inside the Earth’s atmosphere. This heat melts the ice at the poles. The ice at the poles help keep down the temperature of our entire planet but it is melted faster than the rate of replenishment.
Scientists have estimated that over the past three decades, the ice at the Arctic has melted by over half. This moves up the deadline of the arctic ice melting by 2040. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program which has a team of 90 scientists came together to conduct these studies. They figured out that the previous estimation of the Arctic ice melting by 2070 was underestimated. Over the past half a century, Arctic sea ice has not only been declining but snow fall has also reduced drastically. Also, the heat recorded over the area is far higher than needs to be which led to such a drastic change in the levels of ice.
The Arctic ice is a major factor which will directly affect the people of the Earth. Glaciers melting away in the Arctic Circle can cause drought, floods and heat waves across the planet. This will reduce the quality of living drastically and the population may decrease if proper measures are not taken. Another indirect effect of the Arctic Ice melting is the monsoons. The temperature differences in the poles lead to monsoons around the globe. If there is no Arctic ice, there will be no monsoons which will make it very hard to grow crops. This will reduce the global food production making it very difficult for the human race to survive. It will also result in a drastic increase in the sea levels which will inundate most coastal cities.
Plan to ice up the Arctic
It is obvious that greenhouse gases directly cause the melting of ice at the poles. Scientists feel that if the release of gases like carbon dioxide is reduced, there may be a chance of saving the Arctic. However, there is also the widely perceived notion among researchers that the Arctic has reached the point of no return. This means that we can do nothing to save it.
Ever since we knew that the Arctic ice was melting, however, there have been lots of scientists working on it. They have come up with a plan to create ice in the Arctic Circle to help increase the replenishment rate. They plan to do this by deploying buoys that will suck up the almost frozen water from under the ice and spraying it on top of the ice which will make it freeze faster, thereby creating more ice. Each buoy is estimated to cost $50,000 and a total of $500 billion is required as an investment to save the Arctic. Will today’s government allow such a large investment though?
Do you think we can save the Arctic from having a ‘meltdown’?