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Arctic Genocide

By , north waterbo, ME
Arctic Genocide

Did you know that 3.4 million acres of Alaskan wilderness has been destroyed by thousands of Spruce Bark Beetles? The Spruce Bark Beetle is a brownish-black beetle ranging from 2-5 millimeters long. The cause for this catastrophic tragedy is climate change or, as most people refer to it, global warming. The warmer the climate becomes the more these tiny beetles reproduce. It truly is amazing that something that small can cause a crisis for so many lives.

The Bark beetle are an amazing but deadly species. One beetle can produce enough eggs and larvae to invade 15 trees. That number increases every day at a large amount. The damage can be astronomically high in maybe 2-5 years, because theses beetles come in frequent but small attacks.

That is only one of the major effects that global warming has caused in Alaska. Significant amounts of water in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers have shrunk because of the 1 degree rise in temperature. This will also affect the trees because of the water that they need to store in the harsh winters. Now if the ponds and other water bodies shrink, the animals that live in that ecosystem will either die or move to a different area. So the populations near those water bodies that thrive on fish and other animals will have to find other sources of food and transportation.

Alaska is covered by a large sheet of permafrost. Permafrost is a soil in the ground that is below the freezing temperature. This permafrost lasts for every season except for summer, where it thaws out so it can support animal species during the summer. Yet every winter the permafrost seems to be less and less thick. Which is a sign that Alaska is warming and may not have any permafrost left in time. Also along with the permafrost there are many other ice formations in Alaska including icebergs which have almost all disappeared over time due to warming in the water. One way an iceberg is melted completely is that sometimes an iceberg melts a little and forms a large pond in the middle. The force of the middle of the iceberg is brought down by the weight of the pond. That creates a large crack which ends up connecting to other cracks that lead to the bottom. Then the pond drains, sometimes over night and while it is traveling down the iceberg it erodes the cave walls which makes it very weak. The weaker it gets the more the weight of the iceberg tares apart to make two icebergs, which eventually melt into the ocean. The more the ice melts the closer we come to a global disaster, which now is taking affect and there is a slim chance of changing these effects.

There may still be a chance at reconfiguring the world and building a more robust and clean environment for everyone. The major reason for global warming though is the carbon that travels into the atmosphere and destroys the ozone layer. The ozone layer is located in the stratosphere above the troposphere in the atmosphere. It is estimated that 3 to 4 percent of the ozone layer is destroyed each decade. If we were to start reducing the carbon the ozone layer now, it wouldn't start to heal until 2020 at the earliest.

Now there are many ways to reduce the carbon traveling into the atmosphere though. For example, you could unplug all electronics or anything that uses electricity when you're not using it. Even when you're not using your electronic appliances they are still using power, which is continuously making the power plants release more carbon dioxide into the air. It has been proven that the average American releases 5 tons of carbon into the air each year, while European and Japanese people only release 2.25 tons. That is more than double the amount that Americans release, which is a sign that Americans use more heat trapping materials compared to the other countries.

Building a earth friendly community isn't as hard as it seems though, but the costs could be tremendous. Flooding could cause 200 million displaced people by 2050 if we do not change the amount of carbon released into the air. That means a major loss of work production done in corporations and buildings. Losing that many people will be very emotional, which means even more work production done in major businesses. Changing our carbon footprint isn't that hard either. It would only take 1 percent of the world's economic output to change the effects on the earth by 2050.

Now that is only two of the ways that you can help rid the world of heat trapping gases and deadly consequences. Without everyone's participation and concentration on this global catastrophe, the world as we know it may not be here in a couple of hundred years. Even when you change the way you think about global warming, and that you should help end the torture that humans are inflecting against the earth. You make a huge difference; everything counts. So when you're busy building a thriving community and economy with earth friendly materials and electronics, the atmosphere and the earth will heal.

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