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Fire and Ice: Glaciers and Volcanic Activity

October 11, 2022    7 min read

Fire and Ice.

They are the primary elements of Earth and the indicators that represent the life balance on Earth.

'Fire' is represented by the hot and fiery Volcanoes, and the cool and calm Glaciers represent 'Ice.'

In the current situation, this balance is off its course, primarily due to Global Warming!

The rising temperatures cause the ice and snow at the glacier to melt faster and the volcanoes to burst off more often.

But before that, let us understand the Volcanoes and Glaciers in-depth.

What are volcanoes?
Volcanoes are large openings in the Earth's crust that expels molten rock, gases and debris to escape to the surface from, the depths of the Earth.

Lava and other debris can flow up to 100 mph in a volcanic eruption, destroying everything in their path.

80% of the planet Earth's surface is the creation of volcanoes over billions of years that led the foundation of life on Earth to form and thrive! A volcano's explosive force crafts mountains as well as craters.

How do volcanoes affect the earth?

While volcanoes are destructive, they often create the origin of oceans, the atmosphere, and even continents over time.

The lava from the volcanoes often creates the landscape when they cool down over time. But as time goes by, the elements break down these volcanic rocks into creating fertile soil with liberating nutrients that allow the land to flourish and new vegetation to eventually develop.

In warm, humid climates, the recovery of lava is fast, creating a rocky surface from the solidified lava flows. In contrast, in desert or Arctic climates, lava recovery is much slower, giving it more time to form rich, moist soils.

Where are volcanoes found?
There are volcanoes on every continent, even Antarctica.

There are about 1,350 potentially active volcanoes worldwide, aside from the continuous belts of volcanoes on the ocean floor at spreading centers like Japan and Iceland. They often form on the margins of the enormous solid rocky plates that make up Earth's surface.

What is a glacier?
Glaciers are huge and thick accumulated masses of ice, snow, rock, and water that form on land when the fallen snow gets compressed into ice over many centuries. They move slowly downward because of their own weight and gravity pull. Glaciers are also sensitive indicators of changing climate and are often primarily affected by 'Global Warming'.

Did you know? About 2% of all the freshwater on Earth is frozen in glaciers.

Glaciers are also classified by their size, location, and thermal temperatures.

Where are glaciers found?
Most of the world's glaciers exist in the polar regions closer to the northern and southern hemispheres of the Earth in the areas like Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, and Antarctica.

Glaciers can also be found closer to the Equator in some mountain regions. South America's largest tropical glaciers are found in the Andes Mountain Range.

Some glaciers can be hundreds to thousands of years old. Most glaciers in the present time are the remaining massive ice sheets that covered Earth during the Ice Age. Isn't that cool?

We hope this blog helps you understand more about the fine balance of fire and ice and the impact it has on our Earth.

Had fun reading this blog? The Practically App offers a deep dive into such topics with 3D videos to make learning more immersive for you.

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