Sunday, 29 March 2015

Greenland

Greenland
If you have seen the old movie 'water world' (with Kevin Costner in the lead) it gives an idea of how the world would be if the land gets submerged by the seas.  I happened to watch it again today and it set me thinking!!

Can we discard it as another 'doomsday' flick?  or is that a reality we may be faced with in a few hundred years from now?!!

How is this happenning!! Well to my understanding the reason lies in the oft heard and repeated word 'global warming'.  'How' and 'why' global warming is happenning is  a subject in itself but in simple layman terms - it means that the surface temperatures on the Earth are rising with every passing year, which is now a well established fact.  The average temperatures in my home town were 20 to 35 degrees a decade back whereas now they are 10 to 45 degrees. The temperatures rose steadily every year.

Melting ice
So what happens to the ice?  Let us take a simple analogy.  The ice is like a frozen packet of milk which you place on your stove or defrost in the oven to bring it to liquid form.  In both cases, heat is generated to melt the frozen milk.  similarly due to the rise in the heat, the ice is melting and as a result more amount of water is being generated.  


Though the net mass available of earth is constant (remember - matter cannot be destroyed and only changes form!!!) it has changed form, from a vertical ice block to a horizontal sheet of water.  This horizontal sheet of water naturally increases the height of water level and severely endangers islands and shallow land areas.

One of the most threatened countries reported on, Maldives may loose majority of her land to seawater by the turn of the next century and even that timeline is given only if she undertakes extensive coastal protection measures.

A one metre rise in water would make Maldives (comprising about 1100 islands), Micronesia (about 600 islands) and many others such as Solomon islands, Palau etc to be unsuitable for inhabitation or cause severe difficulties for human settlements. We should also include Greenland as she is the one set to loose this mass of land(ice).



Not just ice - lotsa people too
There are millions of people living in these low lying areas/islands and they all have to relocated.  They would loose their life time of earnings,their homes,memories and everything they love about their own homeland.  But the relocation of the people of these islands would only be the beginning. 

As the levels continue to rise, more and more land may get inundated by the sea - a typical scenario out of our sacred books - where they see all the land being inundated by the sea and the end of all civilisation!!!

Are we heading there - I wonder!!!

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