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The ice is a-melting – check this out if you don’t believe me. And I’m not talking about an iceberg here or there. Think Antarctica. Or all of Greenland’s ice (which is a mass almost three times the size of Texas).
Right now, Antarctica is losing about 139 billion tons of ice per year. The ice melts and goes into the ocean, in turn raising sea levels. Most experts believe sea levels would rise around 20 feet if all of Greenland’s ice melted. If all of the Eastern Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, sea levels would increase by around 180 feet. Still think this might not be a big deal? Check out these projections:
Now, I am aware that many people don’t believe that global warming is a problem. They say that the earth has gone through such temperature fluctuations for countless years. They say that various trends are normal.
Guess what? They’re right. The earth does go through periods of warming and cooling naturally. But here’s the catch: the planet is heating up way too fast, and it’s because of what we’re doing. We are releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (like carbon dioxide and methane) and they’re getting stuck there through the greenhouse effect.
In the US, car emissions account for about a quarter of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced. In China and India, this percentage is even greater. So perhaps if you would like to stay above water and don’t particularly want polar bears hanging out in your backyard, it might be prudent to reconsider your driving habits. Need a new car? Get one with better gas mileage. Driving to work? Hitch a ride with a friend. I think change is possible, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. The thing is, we’ve got to start somewhere!