Over the past few years, the effects of global warming have become more visible. With an increase of carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere, more heat has been trapped in the Earth's atmosphere. Therefore, global temperatures have continued to rise, especially at the poles, which has resulted in the shrinking of ice sheets and glaciers.
There are several problems associated with glaciers melting. The melted water from the ice sheets and glaciers flows directly into the ocean, which has led to a rapid rise in sea levels. With an increase in the sea level, flooding, habitat destruction, and other issues have become prominent. Global warming has also been exacerbated by this issue. Because ice reflects the Sun's energy better than water or land according to NASA, the Earth absorbs more energy and heats up faster as ice levels decrease. Additionally, polar bears, wolves, foxes, and seals are at a higher risk with glacier melting since they rely on icy habitats to survive.
Currently, the Arctic is warming at an alarming rate. In these areas, the sea ice is declining heavily, which disrupts normal patterns of ocean circulation. These changes have resulted in the collapse of certain fisheries in the Gulf of Maine according to the NOAA and more dangerous hurricanes around the planet according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
In addition to all of these drawbacks of the disappearance of glaciers, preserving them also brings multiple benefits. For instance, ice holds tons of secrets about the climate history of the Earth. Scientists have the potential to measure the Earth's climate over the past few centuries by drilling into these glaciers and extracting the ancient layers. Additionally, scientists have discovered ancient strains of viruses trapped within ice sheets. The possibilities are endless for what we can learn from preserving glaciers.
Consequently, it is vital that we take action to mitigate the effects of climate change. The number one cause of climate change is the large amounts of carbon dioxide in the air caused by nonrenewable energy sources and other contaminants. Therefore, in order to reduce glacier melting so that species around the world can thrive, it is crucial to reduce our carbon footprints.