In this episode we are going to talk about what happens when the polar ice caps melt, with a focus on effects seen in the earth’s crust and permafrost loss. Ongoing ice loss in West Antarctica has increased over the past few decades. Measurements since the 1950s indicate that the amount of sea ice in the Arctic has been declining. Permafrost in the Arctic alone is estimated to hold nearly twice as much carbon as exists in the atmosphere now, as well as a sizable amount of methane, and losing it turns what is one of the greatest carbon sinks on earth to a major emissions source. Since the retreat of a glacier can reduce stress loads on Earth’s crust underneath, impacting the movement of subsurface magma, this can lead to volcanic activity and other surface implications.
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