The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|Bibliographic Entry||Result |
|Lutgens, Frederick K., & Edward J. Tarbuck. The Atmosphere. 6th ed., 1995: 397.||"Elsmitte, at the center of the Greenland ice cap, rests an elevation of almost 3,000 meters, and much of Antarctica is even higher."||> 3,000 m|
|"Ice Cap." World Book. Chicago: World Book, 2000: 19.||"The ice cap has an average thickness of about 7,000 feet (2,100 m)."||2,100 m |
|"Fuchs and Hillary." The Grolier Student Library of Explorers and Exploration. Grolier, 1998: 71.||"Throughout their trek, they took soundings which showed that the ice cap was up to 9,000 feet (2,700 m) thick, and that entire mountain ranges lay buried beneath the ice cap."||2,700 m|
|Bramwell, Martyn. Glaciers and Ice Caps. Belgium: Franklin Watts, 1986: 19.||"The average thickness of the Antarctic ice is 2,000 m (6,500 feet), and the greatest measured thickness is more than 4,770 m (15,650 feet)."||4,470 m |
|Simon, Seymour. Icebergs and Glaciers. New York: Mulberry, 1987.||"In some places, the Antarctic ice sheet is more than fifteen thousand feet thick."||4,500 m|
The polar regions are boundless wilderness areas of bare rockand biting winds, of snowstorms, ice caps, and glaciers. Antarcticais a continent twice the size of Australia and covered by theworld's largest ice sheet. The Arctic is a complete contrast;most of it is ocean, almost completely surrounded by land andcovered for most of the year by thick floating ice. Nearly 85%of the world's permanent ice is contained in the great ice sheetof Antarctica.
When ice builds up over a mountain region, it fills the valleys.The ice forms a huge dome, parted only by uneven peaks of thehighest mountains. About 15 million square kilometers (5.8 million squaremiles) of the dome is known as the ice cap. The greatest evermeasured thickness of the Antarctic ice is more than 4,770 metersthick!
Because of human activities, the earth is in danger of globalwarming. Even a small-scale melting of the polar ice cap wouldcause flooding in the Netherlands, Northern Germany, parts ofthe Middle East, the Southern US and parts of lowland China. Ifmore than three-quarters of the polar ice were to melt, the resultwould be disastrous! The world's coastlines would be entirelywiped out. Most of the world's ports and major cities would bedrowned, and an extensive part of the world's productive farmlandwould be immersed.
May Sy -- 2000
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