You have probably seen a movie or picture depicting a collapsing iceberg, but you may not have considered how often this occurs and what happens after the icreberg collapses. An iceberg is a chunk of ice that has broken off of a larger iceberg or a glacier. Fun fact: Did you know that an iceberg can only be called an iceberg if it is larger than 16 feet across? If it is any smaller it is known as “bergy bits” or “growlers.” Icebergs might seem like harmless little blocks of ice, but they actually wreak havoc on land and water levels. Unfortunately, Icebergs are melting at an increasingly rapid pace due to global warming and the CO2 in the atmosphere.
Ice acts like a protective cover over the oceans. The icebergs reflect excess heat back into space and keep the planet cooler. Rapid glacial melt in parts of the world including Antarctica and Greenland influence the ocean’s currents. Massive amounts of very cold glacial-melt water entering warmer ocean waters is slowing the ocean’s currents. As more ice melts, sea levels continue to rise. Rising sea levels can increase coastal erosion and elevate storm surge because warming air and ocean temperatures create frequent and intense coastal storms, like hurricanes and typhoons. Icebergs themselves are not the problem, but the melting ice causes a chain reaction of destructive events in our ecosystem. If sea levels get too high, fishing patterns may change, thus causing a change in the population of fish and an imbalance in the food chain.
We can help prevent this process by choosing to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. When possible, purchase products with minimum packaging or packaging that is reusable. Additionally, always recycle paper, plastic, glass, newspaper, and anything displaying the recycling symbol. By walking more, we can save gas, which will lead to a reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. By keeping your house 2 degrees lower in winter or 2 degrees higher in summer, you can save a vast amount of electricity. You can turn off the lights, television, PC, or any other electrical devices when not in use. Plant a tree, eat green, and to make the biggest difference, inform others of how they can help as well.