JEE Main & Advanced
Summary ? Journey to the end of the Earth(English core)
The chapter is an adventurous experience of the author gained during his journey to the end of the earth- Antarctica. Headed by a Canadian, Geoff Green a group of 52 students along with the author has a thrilling experience, exploring the mysteries of this ice- region. Antarctica?s expansive white landscape and uninterrupted blue horizon is the source of profound wonder. Its immensity and isolation have a deep impact upon the visitors. It is like walking into a giant ping-pong ball devoid of any human markers ? no trees, billboards or buildings. Antarctica, because of her simple ecosystem and lack of biodiversity provides rare opportunity to study how the little changes in the environment can cause big repercussions and influential aftermath. The main aim of the ?Students on Ice? programme is to provide the new generation with inspiring educational chances to help them foster a new understanding and respect for the planet- Earth. It enhances the young generation about the preservation of natural resources.
Antarctica is the best place, which helps to understand the past, to experience the present and to predict the future. In a Russian research vessel, the team of students, headed by Geoff Green, accompanied by the author moved towards the coldest, driest, windiest continent in the world- Antarctica. Six hundred and fifty million years ago, a giant amalgamated southern super continent ? Gondwana existed, roughly around the present- day Antarctica. Things were quite different then, the climate was much warmer. That big landmass in the long duration was forced to separate into continents, sub continents and countries, shaping the globe.
Antarctica is devoid of human signs. The visual scale ranges from microscope to the mighty; midges and mites to blue whales and icebergs as big as Belgium. The 24- hour austral summer light, a ubiquitous silence, occasional avalanche on calving ice that purifies the place. In a short amount of time, the situation has changed- villages, towns, cities and mega cities have started dominating nature. The rapid increase of human population has left us battling with other species for limited resources. Unmitigated burning of fossil fuels has now created a blanket of carbon dioxide around the world. The average global temperature is slowly but surely increasing. Climatic changes are threatening the west Antarctic sheet and Gulf Stream Ocean current. Antarctica holds in its ice- cores half- million- year old carbon records trapped in its layers of ice. If we want to study and examine the Earth?s past, present and future, Antarctica is the place to visit.
Antarctica exhibits and reflects how little changes in the environment can lead to big threats. It is wisely said that if we take care of small things the big things will take care of themselves. The author clearly explained this notion with an example of microscopic phytoplankton, small grasses of the sea that nourish and sustain the entire southern ocean?s food chain. If those small grasses were destroyed, the whole marine system would be in danger- the marine animals; the birds of the region and the global carbon cycle would face certain imbalance. Scientists warn that further depletion in the ozone layer will affect the activities of phytoplankton.
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