There are two measures of the extent of the polar ice caps and both have relevance. The rise in sea levels is linked to three primary factors, all induced by this ongoing global climate change. These longer wavelengths of sunlight are absorbed by any greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, before they travel to space.Â While the lower radiant energy from the sun warms the atmosphere, the greenhouse gases reflect the additional radiant energy that would have been reflected to space, back to the Earth increasing the Earth’s temperature more. if they melt, sea levels rise 200 feet, but the average temp on antarctica is 50 below zero. Contrary to popular belief, the melting of the polar ice caps (ice floating on water in the Arctic Ocean and Antarctic Seas) is not contributing directly to any raises in â¦ Somehow all options seem possible to me. , In addition to Earth, the planet Mars also has polar ice caps. Greenland is a plateau surrounded by mountains. Contrary to popular belief, the melting of the polar ice caps (ice floating on water in the Arctic Ocean and Antarctic Seas) is not contributing directly to any raises in â¦ From CFACT:. the south pole ice caps are on land. Climate change is heating up the Arctic faster than anywhere else, and sea ice is shrinking 14 percent per decade. The single-day maximum extent in 2014 was reached on 20 Sep, according to NSIDC data, when the sea ice covered 7.78 million square miles (20.14 million square kilometers). Impacts will be global. Unlike Antarctica, thereâs no land at the North Pole. , Data collected in 2001 from NASA missions to Mars show that the southern residual ice cap undergoes sublimation inter-annually. In summer the polar caps are intensively contracted (CO 2 ice is sublimated), and in winter time the caps are enlarged (gaseous CO 2 is condensed from the atmosphere). Warming of any floating polar caps are not the biggest concern of flooding, because the ice is already floating, and its melting would not cause ocean levels to rise by itself (Archimedes principle).Â Â The conditions that the exposed sea water causes, and the conditions causing the ice caps to melt are very threatening however. For example, Earth's polar caps are mainly water ice, whereas Mars's polar ice caps are a mixture of solid carbon dioxide and water ice. Additionally, in geologic time scales, the ice caps may grow or shrink due to climate variation. A polar ice cap is a region of land at the North or South Pole of a planet that is covered with ice. A rise of just a few inches could cause disastrous effects on coastal towns, citieâ¦ Antarctica's land ice has indeed been melting at an alarming rate. Sea ice is frozen, floating â¦ The last two weeks have seen periods of declining extent along with periods of little change or even gains in extent. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (), ice currently covers 6 million square miles, or one tenth the Land area on Earth, about the area of South America.Floating ice, or Sea Ice, alternately called Pack Ice at the North and South Poles covers 6% of the oceanâs surface (), an area similar to North America.The most important measure of ice is its thickness. For polar bears, the sea ice is a crucial platform for life. The Arctic region is in even greater danger from global warming than Antarctica is, since unlike in the south polar region, the majority of the ice in the north pole is sea ice and is consequently much more likely to melt than the land ice in south pole. Particularly, the 81.4 kilometres (50.6 mi) wide Korolev Crater, is estimated to contain approximately 2,200 cubic kilometres (530 cu mi) of water ice exposed to the surface. From my research, I have found different values for the volume of the polar ice caps. Today, polar ice caps are melting six times faster than they did in the 1990s. * Thermal Expansion: When water heats up, it expands. In short, there's a difference between sea ice and land ice. Large packs of ice formed in the Polar Regions are polar ice caps. Land ice â also called âglaciersâ or âice sheetsâ â is ice that has accumulated over time on land. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Regular variations of the ice caps occur because of the varied solar energy absorption as the earth revolves around the sun. A new sculpture floating in the Thames River is catching eyes and raising awareness of melting ice caps. The Polar Ice Caps dramatic decrease in size in recent years has been seen by many people as evidence of Global warming. A polar ice cap or polar cap is a high-latitude region of a planet, dwarf planet, or natural satellite that is covered in ice.. At a Glance. Polar ice caps are made of fresh water, so adding more fresh water without adding more salt makes the ocean water less saline. Seasonal variations of the ice caps takes place due to varied solar energy absorption as the planet or moon revolves around the Sun. Icebergs are large floating chunks of ice. Ice shelves are massive, floating platforms of ice that surround the ice-covered continents of Antarctica and Greenland. Extent of the Arctic sea-ice in September 1978 – 2002, Extent of the Arctic sea-ice in February 1978 – 2002, The Blue Marble, Earth as seen from Apollo 17 with the southern polar ice cap visible (courtesy NASA), Earth's North Pole is covered by floating pack ice (sea ice) over the Arctic Ocean. Global warming due to the greenhouse effect is thought by many scientists to directly contribute to the warming of the Earth, thus causing polar ice caps to melt, which in turn affects the temperature of the earth, making it even warmer. Interior officials were scheduled to make their decision on polar bears on Jan. 9, but postponed it for a month, citing the complexity of the situation. The ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica is â¦ Changes in the temperature of the ocean’s layers also impact ocean circulation, the amount of salt in the water, and marine life.Â If temperatures rise to melt sea ice caps, and arctic tundras thaw, it may release significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane trapped in the permafrost, or frozen soil. Research experts look to the Earth’s polar regions as early indicators for the Earth’s climate change, and statistics seem to show evidence of growing temperature increases on Earth. The polar vortex is keeping cold air locked up over the North Pole. In fact, the ice cap melted to an extent less than half of what it was at the same time of year in 1979, making it one of the most dramatic and visible signs of climate change. As the Arctic Ocean became more ice-free over more summer days in 2004 and 2005, polar bear breeding and survival declined below the point needed to maintain the population, the team found. That allows the ice to â¦ The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the two polar ice caps of the Earth.It covers about 98% of the Antarctic continent and is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. Methane (CH4) – It is produced by using natural gas, mining coal, raising livestock, and it is produced naturally in swamplands, and rice crops. Over time, large sheets of ice collide, forming thick pressure ridges along the margins (4 th image). Drastic reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today, can help to stop the increasing temperature trend, and melting of the Arctic polar ice caps, slowing the perpetuation of the rise in the Earth’s temperature. When they melt, sea level isn't directly affected because this ice is already in the ocean. For Earth's ice cap, see, "Polar ice" redirects here. As sea ice melts in the summer, it exposes the dark ocean surface. For most of the year, sea ice is typically covered with snow. The Antarctic ice shelves, by contrast, are the floating extensions of huge, land-based ice sheets and glaciers. A metal time capsule left in the ice at the North Pole in 2018 washed up on the shore of northeastern Ireland this week, floating across more than 3,700 km of water. So in March the polar bear mother and cubs swim from the land in Spitsbergen to the edge of the polar ice cap so that they can hunt. Sea ice begins as thin sheets of smooth nilas in calm water (top) or disks of pancake ice in choppy water (2 nd image). On 19 September 2014, for the first time since 1979, Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 7.72 million square miles (20 million square kilometers), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. These studies resulted in “nearly forty years of research experience and achievements in deep polar ice core drillings... and established the fundamental drilling technology for retrieving deep ice cores for climatologic archives.”  Polar ice caps have been used to track current climate patterns but also patterns over the past several thousands years from the traces of CO2 and CH4 found trapped in the ice. Therefore, it is our responsibility to identify solutions to the problem and prevent the planetâs degradation. Another threat to the polar climate is overfishing. The total amount of ice is still below average. Walrus feed on the ocean floor in the shallow waters of the continental shelf where the sea ice contains food. Penguins, who live in the Antarctica region, are also losing their environment as the polar ice caps melt. Around 70% of the fresh water on Earth is contained in this ice sheet. Why is Arctic sea ice important? Although it is still difficult to connect specific causes and events to global warming, drastic reduction of greenhouse gases can help to stop the trend from accelerating. At the same time, the Arctic has been losing around 50 cubic kilometers (gigatons) of land ice per year, almost entirely from Greenland's 2.6 million gigaton sheet. They use the ice to travel long distances to new areas. Why is Arctic sea ice important? There are no requirements with respect to size or composition for a body of ice to be termed a polar ice cap, nor any geological requirement for it to be over land, but only that it must be a body of solid phase matter in the polar region. The âgreenhouse effectâ is a term used to describe the effect that greenhouse gases have on the atmosphere, and subsequently the Earth.Â A portion of sunlight is absorbed by the Earth.Â The sunlight that is not absorbed, is reflected back to the atmosphere, at a wavelength longer than the initial sunlight. Warming of any floating polar caps are not the biggest concern of flooding, because the ice is already floating, and its melting would not cause ocean levels to rise by itself (Archimedes principle). Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 feet) thick. they can melt, and nothing happens. Surrounding the polar caps are many smaller ice sheets inside craters, some of which lie under thick deposits of sand or martian dust. On earth this is at the North and South poles. It makes up 10% of the earthâs surface. The Arctic is a floating ice cap on an ocean penned in by continents. They are not strictly an ice cap (because they are usually larger than the 50,000 square kilometer limit used to define ice caps), but most people refer to these areas as ice caps anyway. In fact, since 2012, the polar ice caps have stayed at their 1979 and beyond averages, according to a new article in Forbes Magazine. The white section is the polar ice cap. [/quote'] melting icebergs (i.e. The Arctic sea ice cap is a large area of frozen seawater floating on top of the Arctic Ocean and its surrounding seas and straits. The sculpture, a realistic-looking polar bear stranded on an iceberg in the Thames, reminds onlookers that there are already victims of global warming: Polar ice caps are high-latitude regions covered in ice. Sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets together form the polar ice. Sea ice has a bright surface; 80 percent of the sunlight that strikes it is reflected back into space. NASA reports that since the late 1970s, the Arctic has lost an average of 20,800 square miles (53,900 square kilometers) of sea ice per year while the Antarctic has gained an average of 7,300 square miles (18,900 km2) of sea ice per year. Earth's south polar land mass, Antarctica, is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet. The Antarctic ice shelves, by contrast, are the floating extensions of huge, land-based ice sheets and glaciers. 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