Melting Ice Caps and How it Affects the Earth

An ice cap is a thick layer of ice and snow that is believed to cover almost 50, 000 square kilometers. Ice that covers more than 50,000 square kilometers is called ice sheet. Global warming has brought a lot of effects on glaciers and ice caps on the earth. The melting of ice caps affects the environment in the following ways:

Rising sea level


Rising temperatures can cause ice to break off from glaciers and fall into the sea or ocean. The result is, water will be displaced causing sea levels to rise. For instance, Antarctica with 2,133 meters of ice, if all of this ice could break up, the ocean can rise to about 200 feet. It will displace people or have profound effects on cities that are near the oceans during the time of a storm.

Disappearance of mountain peaks

In 20 years time, mountain peaks are expected to be gone. Melting of ice will mainly affect mountains in Africa because they are right at the equator. Changes in air temperature in Ruwenzori Mountains are causing glaciers to decrease, hence, letting mosquitoes live where they were not supposed to exist. It will cause a faster spread of malaria disease that is considered a killer disease. The mountains also are natural barriers between enemy communities. If these ice mountain caps disappear, these communities will kill each other.

Danger to the native wildlife

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Many species of animals that are considered endangered also live in these mountains with ice caps. Animals like elephants and chimpanzees will be all gone if these ice caps melt. That is not all, 89 species of birds are also in danger. The Adelies, for instance, have a declining trend each year from 32,000 to 10,000. Their breeding cycle is highly affected because they depend on sea ice to forage at sea.

Disappearance of natural rivers

Ice caps from the mountains contribute water to tributaries that together form streams. For example, River Nile is a beneficially of these ice caps. Now, melting of ice caps will lead to their disappearance, and these rivers will not have water sources anymore. Wildlife and human beings will, therefore, be in danger.

Reflection of light is hindered

Some of the light that falls upon the surface of the earth is reflected back into space directly. The process is important because the more reflected away the light is, the less energy is available for heating. Therefore, if the planet is covered with ice, reflectivity will be automatically hindered leading to low temperatures on earth. So if the ice caps melt, reflectivity’s of the Earth will also decrease because more solar energy is available. The result is having a high temperature on earth and losing our natural coolant.

Global warming is significantly affecting our continent and how we live in it. Both living and non-living things will face a lot of challenges. Let’s identify the problem and curb it to save our lives. The melting of ice caps may not seem so bad but it is a warning sign of what is just right ahead of us, and it affects every aspect of life on earth.


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Members of Greenpeace make a performance using a giant inflatable life ring, in a beach of Cancun Mexico, on December 10, 2010 during the COP16 United Nations Climate Change conference.  AFP PHOTO/Ronaldo Schemidt (Photo credit should read Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

What People Can do Each Day to Raise Awareness About Climate Change

What People Can do Each Day to Raise Awareness About Climate Change

In the past few decades awareness of environmental concerns and climate changes has highly increased. But still they is a lot of work for us to do so as to increase public awareness each day particularly in the third world countries. The United Nation Environment Programme has stated many key aspects to raise awareness about climate change worldwide. Here are some of the ways that we can use to increase the awareness about climate change everyday.

Targeted Efforts

Research has shown that climate change awareness campaigns are the most successful ways to create awareness to people when they are targeted to a specific populations and groups. Most people don’t pay attention to climate changes because the don’t know how the problem is going affect them and also their lifestyle. One of the major reasons for the raise of energy-saving devices, solar panels, and hybrid cars in the past few years is due to targeted awareness. Showing people how much they can save by buying a hybrid or installing a solar panel has assisted to change people who could have not paid attention to climatic changes.

Local Outreach


Environmental education is very important not only in the third world nations but also in the industrialized countries: but, reaching out to the people of those nations can be very hard because of; illiteracy levels, cultural differences, and language barriers can prevent them from learning about climatic changes, more so in tribal and rural areas.

Reaching out to community, religious, and tribal leaders can assist a non-governmental organization or even a governmental organization to educate the people about climate changes. Tribal, community, and religious leaders will assist ease communication problems and bridge the cultural differences that will stand in the way of local outreach efforts.

The Media

In urban areas and developed countries, the use of Internet, mass media and also the print media can be a great way to raise education and awareness about climatic changes. By working with the nonprofit organization, government agencies and media can assist to spread the message. These centers can be valuable gears to offer education to both the journalists and the pubic about the climatic changes. Most media outlet may wish to enhance their coverage of the climatic change issue. However they will lack a place to get the correct data from.

Classroom Education

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Research has shown that thirty percent of the global population is composed of children who are under eighteen years of age. This is the reason as to why educating children and young adults about climate change is fundamental to long-term success. This will assist them promote a sense of reasonability citizenship. This will help the in their adulthood to make correct choices that will conserve the environment. Incorporating environmental education into science classes is one of the perfect ways to educate children and young adults about climate changes.


Climate change has been in the rise in the past decades and now we should take an action and ensure that everyone is aware about it and also look for ways that will help us to deal with this climate change such as by using energy-saving devices and solar panels to help us combat environmental pollutions.

This June 9, 2011 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES satellite image shows Hurricane Adrian, a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 115 knots off the west coast of Mexico. Conditions are favorable for further strengthening in the next 24 hours before the storm begins to be affected by stable air and cooler waters. Adrian is moving west northwest and should pose no problems for land.  Adrian strengthened to a major hurricane Thursday off the Pacific coast of Mexico, with sustained winds of 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour but posing no immediate threat to land, the US National Hurricane Center said. AFP PHOTO/NOAA/HANDOUT/RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

What is the Difference Between El Niño and La Niña?

Ocean Surface Temperatures Greatly Affect Weather

Ocean surface temperatures greatly affect global weather and that is really evident in El Niño and La Niña oceanic patterns. These types of patterns are frequently the cause of extreme weather conditions. El Niño and La Niña are contrasting periods of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. The ENSO cycle depicts the variations in temperature linking the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific. La Niña is cited as the cold phase of ENSO and El Niño as the warm phase of ENSO. These irregularities from normal surface temperatures can have wide ranging affects on ocean conditions, and on global weather and climate. El Niño and La Niña episodes typically last nine to 12 months, but some episodes may last for years. The frequency of their manifestations can be very irregular, El Niño and La Niña events occur on average every two to seven years. Typically, El Niño occurs more frequently than La Niña.

What is the Difference Between El Niño and La Niña?


El Niño refers to the wide ranging ocean-atmosphere climate interchange linked to a cyclical warming in ocean surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. Distinctive El Niño effects will potentially manifest over North America during the approaching winter season. They involve warmer than average temperatures across western and central Canada, and the western and northern United States. Wetter than average conditions are probable across parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, and drier than average conditions can be anticipated in the Ohio Valley and the Pacific Northwest. El Niño can have a vast impact on weather patterns, ocean conditions, and marine fisheries across large portions of the globe for an prolonged duration of time.

La Niña occurrences typify intervals of below average ocean surface temperatures across the east-central Equatorial Pacific. The global climate La Niña influences are inclined to contrast the El Niño influences. In the tropics, ocean temperature variances in La Niña also tend to oppose those of El Niño. Throughout a La Niña year, winter temperatures are warmer than normal in the Southeast and cooler than normal in the Northwest.

What Causes El Niño and La Niña?


Easterly Trade Winds over the equatorial Pacific Ocean are partially to blame for both occurrences. For La Niña, the Easterly Trade Winds substantiate her atmospheric conditions. The Winds blow added warm water west, which causes very cold water below the ocean’s surface to rise upward toward the surface replacing the warm water, and this occurs near the South American coast. During an El Niño, the opposite occurs. The Easterly Trade Winds become weaker causing a lessened, to no impact, at all. The Winds can even reverse direction.

The warm Pacific Ocean becomes nearly stationary or flows eastward and as it does, it gains heat because there is little or no circulation of air. Not only does El Niño affect weather, it is also responsible for hurting the fishing industry off the coast of Peru.

How Will These Conditions Affect the Weather?

A characteristic La Niña winter will have drier and milder atmospheric conditions across the South. The Pacific Northwest will have wetter weather than usual, and the Northeast will have cold periods, but these conditions are typically short in duration. During an El Niño winter, the southern division of the jet stream becomes supplanted across the Deep south, contributing to wetter than normal circumstances from Los Angeles to the Southeast. The Northeast customarily has inclement winters. Finally the Northwest is normally milder. In other areas of the globe, La Niña and El Niño can have a huge influence on Asia’s Monsoon’s and rainfall from Australia to Peru.

Leah Benson