Whether or not humankind can keep the polar ice caps from melting is a subject of great debate in which both side cite scientific studies that support their positions. The bulk of scientific and environmental organizations, however, believe that humans can slow or even halt the melting of polar ice caps and global warming by reducing the use of fossil fuels and other man-made chemicals.Continue Reading
Melting polar ice caps are considered by some to be a product of global warming. According to NASA.gov, global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect, which results from Earth's atmosphere trapping the heat that radiates from the ground. This is thought to cause the planet's temperature to rise, changing climates around the globe.
Water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and chlorofluorocarbons are gases produced by both natural and man-made processes that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Humans increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through deforestation, land use changes and burning fossil fuels; they also add to the amount of naturally occurring methane through agriculture and the decomposition of waste in landfills. Nitrous oxide is a byproduct of agriculture, fossil fuel combustion, nitric acid production and biomass burning. All chlorofluorocarbons are produced by industry.
Critics contend that the increase in global temperatures is a purely natural phenomenon and that the planet has undergone periods of dramatic heating and cooling throughout its existence. They point to contracting and recovering ice caps as proof. Many of these scientist are or were formerly employed by organizations that endorse the theory of man-made global warming.Learn more about Earth Science
Beluga whales defend themselves by blending in with the polar ice caps that they swim near. For example, they often swim by large white chunks of snow in the water to hide from their main predators. They also have superb hearing and distinct voices, so they can call each other for protection. They have strong skin and fins, and their eyes have a protective substance on the cornea.Full Answer >
Some ways to learn about earth science are to attend a college program that teaches the subject or visit earth science websites, such as the one hosted by the American Geosciences Institute. The top school in the US for Earth Science, as of 2014, is the California Institute of Technology.Full Answer >
When Alfred Wegener first made his case for continental drift, he relied on two main lines of argument: the shape of the continents and the relative positions of glacial till deposits. Evidence later accumulated from other areas of research, but the theory was not taken seriously until well after Wegener's death.Full Answer >
Rivers originate from forms of precipitation, springs, groundwater recharge or melted ice and snow gathering at the top of a mountain or hill. This trickling of water starts as a gully, then converges with tributary streams to form a river. A river is then formed by its flowing motion cutting through the surface to allow it to flow.Full Answer >