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How Fast A re the Glaciers and Ice C aps M elting?. Any Student Yadkin Success Academy Unit Project Involving Math, Science and Social Studies. Introduction. Glaciers and polar ice caps are melting and this is going to cause mounting problems .

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how fast a re the glaciers and ice c aps m elting

How Fast Are the Glaciers and Ice Caps Melting?

Any Student

Yadkin Success Academy

Unit Project Involving Math, Science and Social Studies

slide2

Introduction

Glaciers and polar ice caps are melting and this is going to cause mounting problems.

If you’ve watched the news in the last 20 years, you’ve probably seen a story on global warming. This includes diminishing ice resources. In this unit project combining math, science and social studies, we aim to model glacial melting in the classroom.

We will mathematically analyze the melting characteristics of ice in order to predict future melting trends. After we have established a logical basis for our expectations, we will use our increasing knowledge of world events to pinpoint which areas of the globe will be most challenged by the loss of glaciers and polar ice.

Click picture for movie!

Run time 2:42.

slide3

Dear Reader: This is the last slide which is common to all student presentations for this unit. As a group, we decided upon the content of the preceding Title and Introductory slides. From this box forward, you are viewing [Any Student’s] work.

Below are two video clips to help you become familiar

with glaciers and ice caps. One is short while the other is long.

Enjoy!

Glaciers and How They Affect Us.

2:36 run time.

Melting Polar Ice Caps and Glaciers:

Drastic Change Ahead.

24:42 run time.

Click on a movie to start it. But be careful! Clicking anywhere outside the movie pane will advance to the next slide.

guiding questions for this project
Guiding Questions for This Project
  • One of our Essential Questions for this semester has been, “What is the right tool for the job?”
  • In this unit, we had to make a tool choice several times:
      • How did we physically model glacial melting in the classroom?
      • What mathematical tools did we use to derive an equation for ice melting?
      • Where did we go to find good information about which cultures, animals, and regions
      • will be most affected by ice loss?
  • Unit questions give us focus for what we want to do with the results of our science experiment:
    • Should we worry the ice caps and glaciers will melt away so fast people will not be prepared?
    • Could the loss of these resources cause huge problems that cannot be fixed?
    • Might ice loss lead to war? If so, where and between which cultures, ethnic groups, or nations?
    • Which animals and ecosystems will suffer most, and why?
    • What will be the economic costs of ice loss? Is it possible that some groups of people or regions might come out ahead?
slide5

What can we do in class to help us estimate future melting trends?

We need a good tool for investigating this problem! The ice is thousands of miles away and there isn’t any money to take a field trip to Alaska, so how can we get a grip on this issue?

We decided to let a large block of ice melt in a beaker. At 15 minute intervals, we pulled the ice from the beaker and measured the amount of water that had melted away. Then we placed the ice back in the beaker and measured again, 15 minutes later.

Next, we took that data and made sense of it mathematically by graphing it and using software to give an equation for the rate of ice melt.

results of our experiment
Results of Our Experiment

The curved graph indicates increasing rate of melt.

conclusions
Conclusions

From our experiment, we found that ice melts faster the longer it sits out.

Given this, we expect to see the polar ice caps and glaciers begin to melt at ever-quicker rates. This matches the information we gathered on the internet.

We expect ice loss to lead to terrible problems! In many places around the world, glacial melt is the main source of river water. Here is an internet item detailing what happens when river water becomes scarce and countries rely upon unbalanced water treaties: http://www.gwynnedyer.net/articles/Gwynne%20Dyer%20article_%20%20Nile%20Water%20War.txt

Increasing sea levels due to ice cap melt will flood coastal regions and affect marine life.

Strangely, some people are going to profit from glacial loss:

http://www.polarprince.com/show_news.php?n=5369