And clearly, they’ve been able to adapt to a variety of situations. The initial effect on individuals and on the world will be relatively small, but the cumulative effect of that overtime is going to be huge. And while we might zoom in on one species, like a pica, those individuals live within a much larger context. But like many aspects of the natural world, they are becoming increasingly threatened by the consequences of human industry and activity. That it’s possible to think about how we emerge from this emergency in a way that benefits humanity, all species, and we can live within the planetary boundaries of the resources that we have on Earth. Society must act fast if it intends to save them. Coursera [00:15:29]: Yeah, and I’m intrigued by the idea that we brought up earlier about how interconnected everything is. But, conservation of energy will be important as well. By Alice Chen on October 28 2020 in Environment. More targeted measures may also be required. In Yukon, we’ve been able to do things like look at changes in the tree line or the shrub line. MELTING GLACIERS: EFFECTS & CAUSES | by Swachhcoin | Medium I’d love to hear, from your perspective, how has the landscape in the Yukon, where you’ve done a lot of research over years and decades, changed from when you first visited it? Because this is happening, X, Y, and Z are also going to happen?. So, in a sense, when glaciers melt, that creates new ground that can be occupied by plants and ultimately by animals. And we talk about the natural hazards that occur as gravity moves rocks and mountain and water and snow down to the bottom. We expect to see a two-degree warming with about 450 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. The melting of the glaciers, a phenomenon that intensified in the 20 th century, is leaving our planet iceless. Recently, the temperature in the Arctic appears to have hit a new continental high, close to 70 degrees. And the worrying thing is that 50 percent of the Earth’s surface now has dropped below that 90 percent threshold. The glacier will keep receding over time and will finally vanish. This has technically been going on since the industrial revolution, but as emissions have continued to increase the issue has only become increasingly exacerbated. The mass amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases produced by human business, transportation, deforestation, and fossil fuel usage, rise into the air where they stop the heat from the sun from bouncing back out to space. Every year, there’s more heat in the oceans, and this will contribute to an increase in sea level. Many people know it, probably from the Klondike Gold Rush and the sort of colorful history of what happened at the end of the 1800s. We’re moving now into a climate state with warming that is being realized and predicted that is outside of the last 5 million years of Earth history. Dr. David Hik [00:09:04]: So, sea-level rise is a function of glaciers melting, and of the thermal expansion of water. This is still a phenomenon that scientists are studying. But we also talk about climate, and we talk about the role of glaciers as water towers. And I think that’s the risk that we’re trying to mitigate is how much of a decline in species can we see in a particular place without losing the integrity of that system as a whole? Dr. David Hik [00:06:31]: Well, it does. If it drops below 90 percent, that’s where we start to set off alarm bells and can take action to prevent crossing a tipping point that could lead to species extinction and cause a collapse of the ecosystem. And so for the people who live in that part of the world–fairly small communities, far away from larger centers, out along the Alaska Highway. It’s snow, it’s ice, and it’s permafrost or frozen ground. Called glacial erratics or erratic boulders, these rocks might seem a little out of place, which is true, because glaciers have literally moved them far away from their source before melting out from underneath them. By taking ice from below the glacier and then respreading it on top, it will refreeze and increase the strength of the glacier. So, people often sort of think the options that species have as to move, adapt, or perish. Dr. David Hik [00:08:33]: You know, if you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have been a little more despondent, but I’m increasingly optimistic that we can bend the emissions curve. As a result of these rising sea levels, coastal erosion has also increased. Coursera [00:13:41]: And do you know, from your research or studies, how long that adaption process happens? But even though things seem dire right now, they could be much worse if society gives up the fight. So, those are just some of the really dramatic examples that we’ve seen in the glaciers. They are formed by snow that gets compressed into a thick ice mass over time. Glaciers are disappearing but not gone. Since industrial times, atmospheric CO2 has increased from about 280 parts per million up to where it is right now, about 415 parts per million. So, we’re on that trajectory, and this is why there’s such an urgency to try to stabilize carbon emissions as quickly as possible within this decade to prevent the most dangerous warming from occurring. But, it is a landscape that I first visited in 1988. Like for instance, answering the question of what exactly glaciers are. The biggest and most notable impact of these glaciers melting is in the rise of sea level. The solution to all of this is obvious. So, every part of the world will be affected, and as a result, that just emphasizes to me that this is a global issue that needs a global response.


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