7 even a small sea level rise might not drown all

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Unformatted text preview: and see no ice, just open water. The Arctic ice cap has been frozen solid for at least the past 3 million years (and maybe longer),4 but now the entire ice sheet is breaking up so fast that by 2030 (and possibly sooner) less than half of the Arctic will be ice covered in the summer.5 As one can see from watching the news, this is an ecological disaster for everything that lives up there, from the polar bears to the seals and walruses to the animals they feed upon, to the 4 million people whose world is melting beneath their feet. The Antarctic is thawing even faster. In February-March 2002, the Larsen B ice shelf - over 3000 square km (the size of Rhode Island) and 220 m (700 feet) thick- broke up in just a few months, a story typical of nearly all the ice shelves in Antarctica. The Larsen B shelf had survived all the previous ice ages and interglacial warming episodes over the past 3 million years, and even the warmest periods of the last 10,000 years- yet it and nearly all the other thick ice sheets on the Arctic, Greenland, and Antarctic are vanishing at a rate...
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This note was uploaded on 11/30/2013 for the course PHILOSOPHY 303m taught by Professor Tye during the Fall '12 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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