Melting Polar ice melts the planet of life!

Sep 4, 2023

The extinction of polar species is a warning to the species living on the other sides of the equator. Melting the Antarctic and Arctic Circle elevates the seal levels, leading to the collapse in ocean currents and triggering changes in Earth’s weather pattern. 

Reading the news of glacier melting induces no worry in our minds! The news of thousands of penguins dying in Antarctica during the breeding season has never broken our hearts! Studies by environmental scientists about Antarctica have found many penguin colonies have already disappeared. Similarly, the death of polar bears in the Arctic Circle did not break anyone’s heart. Eskimo curlew is already extinct due to more rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic region. The number of Arctic foxes is fast sinking due to hunting. All these haven’t bothered us.

I am not surprised even if we remain unmoved by the total melting of Antarctica and Arctic regions as we believe we are at the north of the equator. We are seriously ignorant. 

The south polar region has no human habitation, so we neglect the ice melting on the glacier caps. There is only a thin population in the Arctic circumpolar region. Hence, what happens in these regions is naturally not a concern of anyone living in the other regions of the equator. That reflects our poor understanding of the ensuing disaster.

Environmentalists say the Arctic region, once a paradise of abundant wildlife, is warming and waning at a much faster rate, enough to send ice sheets down to press a rise in sea levels.  Before the rise in sea level inundated many flourishing cities, large countries like the United States will lose a substantial chunk of marine resources. An estimated half of the US fisheries depend on fishing from the Arctic Circle.  

Glacier melting naturally impacts ocean currents, which can alter the equation of lands and land lives. A recent study found a vital ocean current could collapse by 2025 – two years from now. When the ice melts, the influx of cool freshwater would “weaken the network of ocean currents” threatening a change in the weather pattern. It could be far more dangerous than we can imagine now.

But when do we begin to feel the heat? By the time we begin to feel we will have no solution because what we are going to face is the consequences of many decades-long waste dumping on the seabed, excessive hunting, shipping, oil mining, etc.   What makes the ice melting of the Antarctic is obviously the warming of the sea that gradually warms the water beneath the ice sheets. This has been happening in the last more than a quarter of a century. 

The melting of the Antarctic and Arctic regions is not only a serious issue but a terrible one if we are any more concerned about the future world. Ignorant minds have nothing to fear. As a person living in a coastal metro like Mumbai, I foresee a terror of flood that multiple reasons like climate change-induced downpours, rise in sea level and eco-unfriendly planning and lifestyle can unleash. Glaciers give protective cover to both ocean and land by absorbing excess heat. When the heat protector itself becomes unprotected due to the wanton actions of oil mining, reckless wildlife hunting and exploring shipping routes, Earth will become hotter where no living organism can consequently survive. It can even lead to the extinction of humans. The precise time of this tragedy is shorter than anyone’s prediction as we see how fast the glaciers are sliding down. A study recently predicted that climate change could halt the Atlantic Meridional overturning circulation sooner than predicted time.

It is obvious that the rise in sea level will directly hit millions of people immediately while the overall environmental disaster will hit the lives of almost all lives on the planet. The human brains with plans to drop nuclear bombs on the moon must see how Earth will look like without dropping any nuclear bombs. I am no doomsday predictor but a terrified mind reading the impacts of climate change with bewilderment.