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The Effects of Melting Sea Ice

By Sara and Alysha

How will the melting of Arctic Sea ice affect the world?

(New York Times article)

-Atmospheric changes


-Rise in ocean levels


-The darker water suface absorbs more light and heat, causing the ice to melt


Gillis, Justin. "Ending Its Summer Melt, Arctic Sea Ice Sets a New Low That Leads to Warnings." New York Times 20 Sept. 2012: A8(L). Gale Science In Context. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.

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"Model shows polar ice caps can recover from warmer climate-induced melting." Space Daily 31 Aug. 2011. General OneFile. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.

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-This is a model of what the future might look like

-In the model, it took about 230 years to reach temperatures when Earth was free of sea ice during winter

-It was harmful to species that live on the ice, such as polar bears, and to people, who have been forced to relocate entire villages

-It took several more centuries to lose all winter sea ice

-Required carbon dioxide levels gradually rose (nearly nine times)

-When the carbon dioxide levels were reduced again, temperatures came down and the sea ice returned

(Space Daily article)

 "Arctic region." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 4th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Gale Science In Context. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.

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(The Gale Encyclopedia of Science article)

-The biggest problems of the Arctic region are climate change and pollution


-As the amount of ice shrinks, the habitats of many species, including the polar bear and walrus, are reduced as well

- Climate, sea levels, ocean circulation, wildlife, and people of the polar regions are affected

- Powerful storms in the Atlantic 

- Drier and hotter seasons in Australia


- More rain weather in southern Africa


- “Changing sea ice and snow cover, and even changing ice sheets, have certain effects on the atmospheric circulation,” says Dr Vladimir Ryabinin

(Geographical article)

Rowe, Mark. "Breaking the ice: what will happen next?" Geographical Nov. 2009: 30+. General OneFile. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.

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- The severe Northern Hemisphere winters are linked to Arctic melting

- Less sea ice means more snow

-“Global warming may be responsible for the Northern Hemisphere's recent bout of severe winters. As Arctic sea ice melts, it funnels cold air toward the equator and sets the stage for snow.” -Devin Powell

(Science News article)



Powell, Devin. "Sea ice decline increases snow: Arctic melting linked to severe Northern Hemisphere winters." Science News 7 Apr. 2012: 11. Gale Science In Context. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.

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- The lack of Arctic Sea ice is contributing to the unseasonably cold spring


- Historic minimum of ice cover last fall


- Less Arctic ice changes the circulation in the atmosphere, so there is more ice and snow

(National Geographic article)

Stone, Daniel. "Is Shrinking Sea Ice Behind Chilly Spring?" National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

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- Shipping hazards when the ice does not completely melt in time


- The whole food chain might be affected


- The Inuit people living in the North may not be prepared for these abrupt changes


- Pollutants are released from ice


- Canadian polar bears are endangered


- New ecosystems will form because light will get to new areas


- Waters become more navigeable by ships, allowing for more commercial use

"Melting Arctic Sea Ice." Natural Health & Wellness Information & Recipes. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

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(Alive article)

- Polar bears are on the US Environmental Protection Agency list


- They became one of the main groups affected directly by global warming because melting ice gives the polar bears little time to hunt


-  The polar bears' fasting period has increased because of thin ice which has taken a toll on reproduction and migration patterns

(Alaska Dispatch article)

The Christian Science Monitor. "For Hudson Bay Polar Bears, Melting Sea Ice Means Less Time to Eat." Alaska News, Politics, Outdoors, Science and Events. N.p., 20 Mar. 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

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- Last fall a lot of ice melted due to changing climate


- This is only going to get worse


- More droughts 

- More floods

- More sea surges

- More storms

(People's World article)

Deppe, Blake. "People's World." Cold Spring Linked with Melting Sea Ice » Peoplesworld. N.p., 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

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"Melt Ponds Cause Artic Sea Ice to Melt More Rapidly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.

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(Space Daily article)

- More sunlight will reach the Arctic Ocean


- Surface ponds will form


- The sun will heat up the surface ponds even more than the ice


- Melting will accelerate


- Organisms living in the ice and water will have more light

The End