The Big Thaw

by alexandrapounder on April 4, 2018 - 1:39am

In the article “The Big Thaw” by Daniel Glick, he reports that in the Glacier National Park in 1910 there were approximately 150 glaciers and now the amount has significantly decreased to less than 30 glaciers. And predicts that within 30 years they will all melt. Scientists have proof that the earth has rapidly been getting warmer, and the cause behind that would be human activity. The burning of fossil fuel and the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have affected the temperature of the earth. The author states that the ice is changing everywhere on earth, the glaciers used to be taller and close together, now they are melting from under because of the warmth of the water. The fall of huge pieces of ice sinking into the sea causes the rise of sea level, sinking of land, eroding coasts, temperamental storms that endanger all the hundred million people worldwide living a meter above sea level. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average global sea level has increased by four to eight inches in the past century and is to rise by 35 inches in the next century. The climate changes are also the main cause of animal extinction, more than hundreds of species die because their habitats are being destroyed. In order to be able to keep this earth together, we should make a bigger effort slowing down greenhouse gases, to help the glaciers from breaking apart and melting.


In my opinion, climate change is the biggest issues encountered worldwide, we produce so much greenhouse gases, that we are destroying our own planet. Not a lot of people realize how much impact it has on our earth and how it’s affecting our way of living. Just because we are not seeing it with our own eyes it does not mean that it is not happening. By releasing all this CO2 into the air, we are destroying mountains and mountains of ice every year and at one point there will be no more because if we don’t do anything to stop it or at least slow it down there won’t be anything for us to live on. Millions of people will die if we don’t start doing something now.




What make this article summary so appealing to me is how you emphasized on the consequences of climate change due to human activity. I totally resonate with your saying, “Just because we are not seeing it with our own eyes it does not mean that it is not happening.” This really points out how destructive the excessive release of greenhouse gases are for the environment. It also reminds us to not sweep the global warming issue under the rug. On that note, I would like to expand on the consequences of drastic climate change not only on the environment, but also on us, the human specie. Here are even more effects of climate change that I found: increased number of severe storms, rising sea levels making coastal cities uninhabitable, disruption of agricultural practices due to frequent droughts, heat stress resulting in higher mortality rates and difficulty to work outside in some parts of the world, decreased agricultural productivity, and changes in the patterns of commerce (Dobbins et al., 2015). In the end, by looking at all these threatening factors that encompass the process of climate change, it is clear that over the coming decades, global warming will test which countries are resilient and which are not.

Dobbins, J., Solomon, R. H., Chase, M. S., Henry, R., Larrabee, F. S., Lempert, R. J., … Shatz, H. J. (2015). Choices for America in a Turbulent World. RAND Corporation.

I chose to write a response for this summary because I am very fascinated by this subject. It is something that we are very seriously dealing with today so I wanted to learn as much as I could. When reading this, I was shocked by just how much of a decrease in glaciers there has been in the Glacier National Park. In 1910, there were approximately 150 glaciers and today, there are less than 30. I truly find this heartbreaking. After reading this, I did some research of my own. Ellen Cools wrote an article stating that the Amundsen Sea Embayment is suffering due to the warmer water from changing ocean circulation patterns. Because of this, the ice is thinning rapidly. As a result of this, the ice around the coast could cause glacier acceleration and further thinning of the ice sheet (Cools, 2015). However, Cools states that there is still hope. She explains that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (which is 2/3 of the southernmost iciest continent), remains somewhat stable. It is steady because East Antarctica rests on rock that is higher than the sea level, meaning it is unlikely to breakdown (Cools, 2015). After reading about this subject, I truly hope that the Earth’s environment will heal in time and that humans will help, instead of making it worse.
Cools, E. (2015). Dear EarthTalk: To What Extent is Antarctica really melting and what impact might it have on coastlines around the world? EarthTalk. Retrieved from ProQuest.

About the author