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Overview of the Polar Icecaps

            The polar ice caps are an important feature of the Earth. As a first point, the white color of the snow bounces some of the sun rays back because white is not a heat absorbing color. This cools the planet significantly and keeps the poles as cold as they are. With the ice caps melting more and more of the water of the sea is exposed to direct sunlight, heating it up and melting more ice faster. By regulating these ocean temperatures in the caps they can also control the currents of all the bordering bodies of water. The salinity levels and temperatures affect the types of weathers we see all over the globe, including on land and with the caps rapidly changing it is possible to have very drastic weather shifts, from flooded deserts to dried up rain forests. Also because there are still temperature changes in the air between summer and winter, the layer of ice creates an insulated barrier for the temperature sensitive life forms beneath it. As an added point 68.7% of the Earth's freshwater is located in the frozen land but the fast melting is forcing it to mix with the oceans which have high salinity, which contaminates the fresh water and it, it turn becomes even more saltwater. .
             The food web I have decided to create for this project includes a variety of species; three are entirely water oriented and spend their life in the oceans, while the other twelve have land based lives, with occasional swims. Primary producers include bearberry, arctic willow and algae; all of which are adapted to the harshly cold climates around and in the area of the polar caps and do not grow large. Moving up the web in the category of primary consumers there are krill, salmon and lemmings. Then there are the secondary consumers which contains snowy owls, snow geese, arctic swans, ermines and arctic foxes. One more branch is the tertiary consumers, the arctic wolves, caribou, and polar bears. The final branch of the web has lichen which is the decomposer here.

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