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Explain how Climate change is affecting the Arctic and the Antarctic e...

  Jan 15, 2017

Explain how Climate change is affecting the Arctic and the Antarctic ecosystem. Also elaborate its effect on India.

The world has recently received dire warnings about the deteriorating health of our planet from two of its most fragile and critical ecosystems, the Arctic in the north and the Antarctica in the South. For India, with its extensive coastline, the implications are enormous.

The Arctic Ocean has experienced the warmest winter this year since temperature records began to be compiled. There has been an extraordinary 20-degree deviation above what temperature levels should have been at this time of the year. Satellite images have also revealed that sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is at the lowest extent ever recorded. It comes as a culmination of a steady warming of the Arctic over the past half a century, resulting in a 75% loss of its ice cover.

In the Antarctica, there had been complacency because the loss of the thick ice cover over the southern continent had been minimal in recent years. The loss of some ice-shelves located at the coast, had been made up by increased accumulation in other parts of the continent. However, it has been reported that a massive ice-shelf in the western part of the continent, known as Larsen C, may be about to detach itself from the thick mass of ice covering the continent, and float away into the ocean as a gigantic iceberg. Larsen C is part of what was originally a very extensive ice-shelf, parts of which, Larsen A and Larsen B, have already disintegrated and floated away. Larsen A disappeared in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002. But Larsen C is by far the largest shelf in this part of the Antarctica.
Effects: Implication on India: climatic conditions and oceanic wave movements in the polar regions have a significant effect on weather patterns around the world, including the monsoons in our subcontinent.
Against this background, it is imperative that leaders across the world shed their complacency and recognise and respond to what is a planetary emergency.