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Glaciers Melting and Geological Misconceptions

The global warming and the melting of the glaciers on our planet has been one of the most discussed issues of the last several decades. The effects of the melting started to be noticeable and it began to worry the scientists. After many researches and measurements the geologists came up with conclusions that shocked the whole world.

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After the scientists were able to predict the effects of the warming and the melting of ancient ice sheets the world’s society has turned to new researches directed to find the causes of the warming and possible ways to stop or reverse it. The reaction was so powerful because the scientists stated that in a relatively near future our planet will face a serious threat.

Due to the melting of glaciers enormous amounts of water are being released into the oceans and seas. As a result, the sea level starts to rise. Some of the studies show that the lands that are located not very high above the sea level are under a serious risk of being flooded completely (Lutgens, Tarbuck, 127). There already are maps that show how exactly the rise of the sea level will affect different continents. The melting of glaciers is going to cause massive migrations all over the world.

The coastlines of all the continents will change, so people living there will be in the biggest danger, especially in poor countries, where the population will not have chance to move as much. The areas that will suffer the most are islands, such as Maldives. They are located only two meters above the sea line. These beautiful islands located to the South from India will be gone completely.

There are multiple misinterpretations of misconceptions the students tend to stick to until they find out that their ideas or understandings are wrong. For example, there is a common mistake to state that there are seven continents in the world.

This is correct of we are speaking about geographical division of the continents. According to that approach there are two Americas, Africa, Antarctica, Europe, Asia and Australia. Although, if we count that number of continents from the geological point of view there are only six: two Americas, Africa, Antarctica, Australia and Eurasia. Besides, it is also worth knowing that what we call Antarctica is not even a land mass. This continent is formed entirely of ice, basically it is a massive glacier.

As for the popular misconceptions about the tectonic plates, many students tend to make a mistake thinking that the borders of plates and lines of the continents coincide. This is not true. Lithosphere, the upper shell of our planet consists of parts that are called tectonic plates. The boundaries of the plates are involved into interactions of various kinds, which results in different types of movements occurring between these plates.

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These movements along the boundaries of the plates are what causes seismic activity, volcanoes and the building of mountains. The six of the largest tectonic plates of our planet are so huge that they may hold several continents or parts of different continents.

The territory owned by some of the biggest plates contains great deals of ocean crust and big portions of land. Some of the plates that have smaller sizes are located under the oceans only. I used to share this misconception some time ago, now I am glad to learn about the correct state of things.

Continental drift is misunderstood by many people. There is an opinion that the movement of the continents is a dangerous happening, which may affect us one day. Truth is that the continents are moving apart very slowly. The biggest misconception in this area is about the timeline involved. Serious changes may happen, but only in millions of years.

Works Cited

Lutgens, Frederick, K., and Edward, J. Tarbuck, Foundations of earth Science. 7th ed. 2014. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Print.

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