| In books it says if the earths temperature rises
3 1/2 degrees the pole ice caps would melt but how
is that possible if the temperature changes more
than 3 degrees all the time?|
You are absolutely right! We do experience
changes not only on a daily basis, but also a
yearly basis. These are
normal seasonal changes that occur around the
world. BUT, what your
books are likely referring to is a 3.5° F average
temperature increase on a
global scale. Each year average temperatures
are recorded for different
areas around the world. What scientist’s are
seeing is that these average
temperatures are slowly increasing year by year.
For example, say the
average temperature of the North Pole recorded
last year was 31.3° F, but
this year the average temperature recorded was
31.4° F. This means that
from last year, the average temperature of the
North Pole has increased by
0.1° F. Now, imagine that average temperatures
around the globe have
increased by 0.1° F. What your books are
suggesting is that if these
average temperatures increase by not 0.1° F, but
3.5° F then the polar ice
caps may be in great danger of melting!
Currently, the average global
temperature of our Earth has increased by about
1.4° F since the late
First off, what the books are saying is incorrect.
It would take 10+ degrees (Celsius) of warming
around the Earth to melt the Antarctic ice sheet.
Melting the Greenland ice sheet may be easier,
The other reason is that the warming isn't
distributed over the Earth evenly. The Earth
on average may warm up only three degrees, but it
is one degree or less in the tropics, and ten
degrees or more at the poles. The reason this
happens is because of the heat-dissipating
properties of warm water (it evaporates, condenses
to form cloud, and then rains back to Earth, thus
moving heat from the sea up to the stratosphere,
from where it radiates into space).
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