why is antarctica important to the world
Extracts from this document. The last great wilderness is very important to us and to everyone else. This unique, wonderfully, and beautiful place is a place almost entirely covered with snow and ice, it maybe doesn't look like the most important thing in the world but it is one of those things that is made important. The continent of Antarctica is important to us because it has become an international science laboratory where scientists study its weather and climate, oceanology, meteorology, astronomy, ozone layer, marine life and geology. We are only now beginning to realize the profound effects that Antarctica has on our environment and way of life. Antarctica may hold the key to understanding food chains, and the role of plankton in those chains. Locked up in its 4 km thick ice sheet is a record of past climate for the last 500,000 years. Trapped bubbles in the ice hold an archive of atmospheric gases, and evidence for levels of global pollution by industry, agriculture and atomic bombs is frozen into the ice. Equally important is the evidence for ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere. Studies on the ice sheet and its contribution to world sea level rise are vital to our understanding of global change. The ice sheet of Antarctica determines the level of the sea around the whole world including the United Kingdom. 90% of the world's water is frozen there. If it should ever melt everything above 65 metres above sea level would just be gone. Another reason why Antarctica is important is because the seas in the southern Ocean is rich with marine life some of which are fished commercially such as Krill and Patagonian Tooth fish, as well as the Japanese do is to catch up to 600 Minke whales a year for scientific purposes which are then sold on to shops as whale meat for people to buy.
Tourism is also of a bit of importance to us, as many mainly travel by cruise ship to the Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea and the sub-Antarctic islands. In 1983, the Chileans began flights to King George Island, where an 80-bed hotel has been built. Main attractions are the wildlife, skiing, and visits to scientific stations and historic huts. The growth of tourism has disrupted scientific programmers and official regulation of tourism is now essential. This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our section.
Ever since the ancient Greeks speculated a continent must exist in the south polar regions to balance those in the, Antarctica has been popularly described as remote and extreme. Over the past two centuries, these factors have combined to create, in the human psyche, an almost mythical land Б an idea reinforced by tales of heroism and adventure from the Edwardian golden age of Бheroic explorationБ and pioneers such as, and. , however, is casting new light on the importance of the southernmost continent, overturning centuries of misunderstanding and highlighting the role of Antarctica in how our planet works and the role it may play in a future, warmer world. Heroic exploration, 1913. What was once thought to be a largely unchanging mass of snow and ice is anything but. Antarctica holds a staggering amount of water. The three ice sheets that cover the continent contain around, all of which we now know to be vulnerable to warming air and oceans. If all the ice sheets were to melt, Antarctica would raise global sea levels by.
Where, when, and how quickly they might melt is a major focus of research. No one is suggesting all the ice sheets will melt over the next century but, given their size, even small losses could have global repercussions. Possible are deeply concerning: in addition to rising sea levels, meltwater would slow down the worldБs ocean circulation, while shifting wind belts may affect the climate in the southern hemisphere. In 2014, that several major Antarctic ice streams, which hold enough water to trigger the equivalent of a one-and-a-half metre sea level rise, are now irreversibly in retreat. With more than exposed to the threat of sea level rise and sea levels now rising at a faster rate globally than any time in the past, these are sobering statistics for island nations and coastal cities worldwide. Recent storm surges following hurricanes have demonstrated that rising sea levels are a future threat for densely populated regions such as Florida and. Meanwhile the threat for low-lying islands in areas such as the Pacific is immediate and. Much of the continentБs ice is slowly sliding towards the sea. Multiple factors mean that the vulnerability to global sea level rise is geographically variable and unequal, while there are also in the extremity of sea level rise itself. At present, the consensus of the IPPC 2013 suggests a rise of between 40 and 80cm over the next century, with Antarctica only contributing around 5cm of this. Recent projections, however, suggest that Antarctic contributions may be up to ten times. Studies also suggest that in a world 1. 5-2бC warmer than today we will be locked into millennia of irreversible sea level rise, due to the slow response time of the Antarctic ice sheets to atmospheric and ocean.
We may already be living in such a world. Recent evidence shows global temperatures are close to 1. 5бC warmer than pre-industrial times and, after the COP23 meeting in Bonn in, it is apparent that keeping temperature rise within 2бC is unlikely. Melting away. So we now need to reconsider future sea level projections given the potential global impact from Antarctica. Given that of the heat from anthropogenic global warming has gone into the ocean, and these warming ocean waters are now meeting the floating margins of the, the potential for rapid ice sheet melt in a 2бC world is. In polar regions, surface temperatures are projected to rise twice as fast as the global average, due to a phenomenon known as. However, there is still hope to avoid this sword of Damocles, as studies suggest that a major reduction in greenhouse gases over the next decade would mean that irreversible sea level rise could be. It is therefore crucial to reduce COБ levels now for the benefit of future generations, or adapt to a world in which more of our shorelines are significantly redrawn. This is both a scientific and societal issue. We have choices: technological innovations are providing new ways to reduce COБ emissions, and offer the reality of a. This may help minimise sea level rise from Antarctica and make mitigation a viable. Given what rising sea levels could mean for human societies across the world, we must maintain our longstanding view of Antarctica as the most remote and isolated continent.
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