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The Polar Ice Caps

The melting of the polar ice caps and its effect on global and local water systems

Rida Aamer

on 3 June 2011

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Transcript of The Polar Ice Caps

THE EARTH... is often called the water planet has a surface covered in 3/4 water has both salt and fresh water 97% salt water
3% fresh water is coverered in glaciers and the polar ice caps which hold 68.7% of the world's fresh water IS GETTING HOTTER The polar ice caps and glaciers are melting By: Rida Aamer - 821 The Melting of the
Polar Ice Caps Main Factor Behind Melting CLIMATE CHANGE The gradual increase in the temperature of the earth's atmosphere, believed to be due to the greenhouse effect, caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants. Raised temperatures Average temperatures in the Arctic are going up twice as fast as the rest of the world's climate Polar and glacier ice melting, thinning, and cracking Ice Melting Sheet of ice covering and protecting the Arctic from the Sun's rays is disappearing Cool Layer Disappearing More Heat Being Absorbed The Earth is absorbing much more of the Sun's rays with the layer of ice and snow now gone A CONTINUOUS CYCLE The Canadian Basin is the largest subbasin of the Arctic Ocean A major cap of fresh water is floating above the saltwater Canadian Basin And is coming from Canadian permafrost meltwater filtering in through rivers Freshwater is held in place by wind Without wind, this water would disperse Straight into the Gulf Stream Gulf Stream Warm, powerful and swift Atlantic current

From Florida-Newfoundland

Crosses the Atlantic

Heavily influences weather across Eastern North America and Europe Thermohaline Circulation Refers to how the Gulf Stream is controlled
Circulation depends on density levels of the water
Levels fluctuate depending on freshwater vs. saltwater levels THEREFORE: Added freshwater causes distruptions in circulation Locations of currents affects areas closest to it

Gulf Stream keeps Europe mild, Florida warm, and Newfoundland cold

Added freshwater in the Gulf Stream changes salinity levels

Could possibly change path of the Gulf Stream Europe would get colder

Florida would get colder

Newfoundland may get warmer If the Gulf Stream changes: If the Canadian Basin Overflows: Gulf Stream would change directions

Cause a chain reaction with surrounding currents

The world's current systems would change In Conclusion Polar ice caps are shrinking

Freshwater, if mixed with the oceans, could have long lasting damage

Ocean currents could end up changing directions

The climates they control would fluctuate drastically Thank you
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