The article that will be summarized in this essay is “Polar Ice Sheets Melts Faster” by Gautam Naik. The article talks about how fast the polar ice sheets are melting in Greenland and Antarctica. The author reveals that in a recent study supported by the European Space Agency and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which was based on records from 10 satellite missions, the melting of the ice sheets has raised global sea levels by 11.1 millimeters. Furthermore, he points out that data from the study claims that whereas previously only 10 per cent of the melted ice sheets contribute to the rise in the global sea level rise, it has now increased to 30 per cent.
Naik mentions several factors which lead to a rise in sea levels. First factor is the high temperatures which result to the thermal expansion of the oceans. Second, he says that the runoff from melting glaciers is another contributory factor. Third, Naik attributes the rise in sea levels to the melting of the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland. He notes that between Antarctica and Greenland, the latter’s ice sheets are melting faster because of the warmer ocean currents in the Northern Hemisphere. Moreover, Greenland’s air temperature is warmer compared to Antarctica’s. The 2007 U.N. report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms this contention by Naik. The report claims that the study concludes that two-thirds of the ice loss was in Greenland and only one-third in Antarctica. Although both areas are losing ice, the rate of ice loss in Greenland has increased by almost five times since the mid 1990s while Antarctica’s rate of loss is smaller and increasing at a constant rate.
Naik concludes the discussion on rising sea levels by quoting Andrew Shepherd, a professor of earth observation at the University of Leeds. Shepherd contends that although there is no immediate threat from the rise in sea levels, people must be warned that further studies have to be conducted regarding the instabilities observed.
Naik, Gautam. "Polar ice sheets melt faster." 29 November 2012. online.wsj.com. Web. 14 November 2013 <http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323751104578149073844418936>.