Day 85 – Q 2. If you were to visit the Antarctica, which major ice bodies would you encounter in your journey towards the south? What are the most potent threats to these ice bodies? Examine.
2. If you were to visit the Antarctica, which major ice bodies would you encounter in your journey towards the south? What are the most potent threats to these ice bodies? Examine.
यदि आप अंटार्कटिका की यात्रा करने वाले हों, तो दक्षिण की ओर आपकी यात्रा में कौन से प्रमुख बर्फ के निकाय होंगे? इन बर्फ निकायों के लिए सबसे शक्तिशाली खतरे क्या हैं? जांच करें।
Antarctica is earth’s southernmost continent. The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of 200 mm along the coast and far less inland; there has been no rain there for almost 2 million years, yet 80% of the world freshwater reserves are stored there.
Major ice bodies towards the south
- Brunt Ice Shelf
- Larsen ice shelf
- Ronne Ice Shelf
- Ross Ice Shelf
Most potent threats to these ice bodies
- Anthropogenic causes – The industrial revolution, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions have raised temperatures, even higher in the poles, and as a result, glaciers are rapidly melting, calving off into the sea and retreating on land.
- Fishing – Fishing for krill could be particularly significant as these are at the bottom of many Antarctic food chains.
- Tourism – With the accompanying pollutants that accompany ships and aircraft, the possibility of oil spills and the effects of lots of people and infrastructure on wildlife and the wider environment.
- Pollution – CFC’s and other ozone depletion materials are responsible for the ozone hole that has appeared over Antarctica for over 30 years, chemicals produced thousands of miles away are found in Antarctic ice and in the bodies of wildlife.
- Methane – Melting permafrost releases methane: a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of warming potential.
- Oil spills and gas extraction – An extractive oil and gas industry poses new danger to already vulnerable animal populations.
Melting sea ice is also likely to have global consequences by unlocking new shipping routes and exposing more fossil fuel reserves. But it is clear that although Arctic and Antarctic sea ice only covers a small fraction of the Earth’s surface, there may well be serious climate-related impacts