In the article "Arctic melt to cost up to $24 trillion by 2050: report," economic researchers and scientist have speculated that the melting of the Arctic ice will be too costly for the world economy (Reuters, 2010). These costs will be related to real estate damages, agriculture, and insurance losses that will be accrued due to heat waves, rising sea and ocean levels, excess floods, and unexpected weather patterns like snow falls. The Arctic Ice is one of the most significant weather makers in the globe. It is the earth's air conditioner and is being lost by the second. Its loss is an imperative issue that needs to be examined in detail.
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According to surveys carried out by the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the United States of America, the Arctic Ice is melting at previously unpredicted rates (2010). In June 2007, the Arctic Ocean Ice occupied an area of 10.9 kilometers. By September 2007, the ice had reduced to 4.14 million kilometers an alarming rate and concern for everyone. It is important to note that the melted ice has caused ice-free waterways. It is rare to see huge chunks of ice floating in the Northern Atlantic shipping route. The melting of ice caps leads to an increase in the water volume in the seas. Rising sea levels can cause devastating impacts on the economy of low-lying islands for instance the Maldives that lie on the sea level. This will cause flooding and the result will be loss of property and human life. Insurance companies stand to lose more because of reduced business due to loss of property and human deaths. They will pay a lot of money for lost lives and property and as result make losses, and close down. This will lead to losses of jobs and finances in a world whose economy is slowing down.
Farming on the Polar Regions depends on this ice. Species that are native to these places help in maintaining the Arctic Ice. Farming of polar bears and seals will be a problem because these animals cannot survive in a place that does not have ice. If all the ice melts, then tree and planet species will grow that absorb more sunlight and do not encourage the formation of ice and thus total disruption of the ecosystem. Farmers will have to look for alternative means of eking out a living. Rising sea levels will submerge arable land for farming. This will lead to poor food production and result to a lot of hunger and loss of lives. The rising sea and ocean levels imply that the excess water will submerge lakes and rivers. Some of these rivers are very essential in irrigation and fish farming (Ramanujan, 2003). This will lead to a great loss of livelihoods for people who rely on lake and river water.
The melting of the Arctic Ice is directly related to Global Warming. The Arctic Ice is the earth's air conditioner and its breakdown implies that temperatures across the earth will be higher. This will make it hard to farm crops that require particular temperatures. Famers will be forced to grow crops that will be dictated by the higher temperatures and still get unexpected results. Warmer temperatures on the surface of the earth mean that there will be increased frequency of serious wildfires. These rapid spreading fires endanger the destruction of food crops and lead to reduced harvests. Wildfires also contribute to the destruction of fertile soils by converting them to dry and nutrient deprived soils. Farming on these soils will be hard because they need a lot of manure and the readily available non-organic fertilizers will be of a more deleterious effect (Ramanujan, 2003).
Plant farming depends on pollination either from insects or from animals. Some plants in the Arctic Region depend on pollinators that live in the wintering grounds. Lack of these grounds implies that there will be no pollinators and the result will be poor yields.
Increased temperatures during summer time will also lead to heat waves that will kill very many people in the world. In 2003 alone, about 25, 000 people died due to sudden and intense heat waves ( Ramanujan, 2003). The insurance industry suffers a loss when paying for such unprecedented deaths. Arctic Ice Melting is factually related to La Nina and El Nino conditions (Ramanujan, 2003). The earlier is responsible for high temperatures and the latter is related with flooding.
Floods threaten to submerge apartments that are located near the sea. The other important fact is that, since this ice is one of the temperature stabilizers, its melting will cause the soil to disintegrate. After the melting of the Arctic Ice is complete, the soil ice will follow suit. This means that houses that are built on the Arctic region will be destroyed. This will be of great loss to the people living there and the investors. Cool ocean temperatures are responsible for fewer cases of hurricanes. However, in cases of a warm ocean, the probability of hurricanes occurring is higher. In the case of an absence of Arctic Ice, the oceans will be warmer meaning more hurricanes that will cause serious damage to property that lies on their path and coastal areas. This implies that the insurance losses may increase as the rate of the Arctic Ice Melting increases. The latest case is the unexpected flooding in Queensland State of Australia. Property worth billions of dollars has been lost. The floods have shown very miniature signs of receding.
In the last 10 years, the Arctic Ice has melted faster than any researcher expected. This has also been linked with the unpredictable and severe snowfalls that have affected many continents in the world especially Europe, Asia, and North America. These snowfalls have caused hiked airfares and insurance refunds to travelers who have been inconvenienced by such airfares. This has caused a great dent to insurance com-pansies that are trying to emerge from a world economy, which has been struggling to recover from the Great Recession.
Climate change is the main cause of the melting of the Arctic Ice. The disappearance of sea ice is one of the indicators that man has outlived the limits of the mother planet. Melting of the Arctic Ice has triggered the release of methane into the atmosphere and as a result the increase in global warming. Heavy snowstorms and blizzards are on the rise like the increase in global surface temperatures. Although, the melting of the Arctic Ice has produced a shipping corridor, the economic losses are bound to be several times greater than the benefits. It is important to note that the melting of the Arctic Ice is a key contributory factor to global warming due to the methane released (Reuters, 2010). Financial losses due to heat waves, hurricanes, flooding and snowfalls could bring the world economy to a halt. In the current Free Market Economy, it is highly competitive and none stops to look at the glaciers and Arctic Ice sheets. Man will bring the end to himself due to scarce resources. Lack of clean water and food is what will bring man's rule on the planet to an end. The Ice Caps are a source of life and sustain the economy. Their loss means and end to life and the world leaders should be transparent in dealing with climate change or even curbing it. It is wise to note that none is safer; if economy collapses, everyone is victim.
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