The Cold Dead Ice – But, is it?
Cold, endless white, and cold, so cold, and dead – that is how we see ice – either in the arctic, Antarctic, or Canada. It seems to stretch out in an endless blanket of white that is unbroken and unrelenting in its harshness. But, is it?
Beneath the surface, we dive and this is the picture:
- It is teeming with life
- The ice is just that upper surface
- Flora, fauna, and an endless supply of marine life.
- The water is freezing – still – that is the habitat of thousands of creatures.
What is the ice? – All those frozen regions and what they mean to us.
- Contrary to belief, the ice in Greenland and Antarctica is not made of sea water – it is made of fresh water. So, losing the ice means we are losing fresh water.
- When this water melts, it flows into the oceans – increasing salty water.
- Then, it infiltrates into freshwater reserves that are below ground level.
- Greenland and Antarctica ice actually constitutes more than 60% of the fresh water supply in the world.
- Melting of the ice interrupts the cycle of warm currents that in turn controls weather patterns.
- Currents rely on dense salty water that comes from the arctic, but the melting will cause a rush of fresh water which will cause dilution of these currents. In turn, this could cause a weakening or even a stop to the currents that bring warm weather.
- There are toxic materials frozen inside the ice and the melting will release them into our water supply – poisoning due to mercury stored in the Arctic permafrost.
- The permafrost holds inside it organic matter – once that melts, microorganisms feed on it and release carbon dioxide and methane – these will increase the greenhouse effect and as such cause an increase temperature on earth – and more melting.
However we look at it, the ice holds life on earth in the palm of its hand and it is melting – species of mammals, fish, penguins – are being lost to the climate change and with it our biodiversity – increase in temperature will cause more drought, extra high temperatures, more evaporation, desert climates, extra water vapor which will cause storms and floods. The cycle is endless…
It is in our hands to take an action – Let us do so now.
Based on an article by Business Insider and National Geographic.