(Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) New research suggests weather anomalies are to blame for intense periods of accelerating Arctic sea ice loss. (From UPI/ By Brooks Hays) -- While research has confirmed links between global warming, rising Arctic temperatures and ongoing sea ice loss, variability remains. A pair of new studies conducted [...]
Antarctica may be thousands of kilometres from the central Pacific but events there can have a significant effect on the White Continent's ice. (From BBC News/ By Jonathan Amos) -- Scientists have shown how ice shelves - the floating fronts of marine-terminating glaciers - respond to the El Niño phenomenon. The warming of tropical eastern [...]
The Pentagon has taken few steps to prepare its overseas installations for climate change, a government watchdog said Wednesday. (From The Hill/ By Rebecca Kheel) -- “While the military services have begun to integrate climate change adaptation into installations’ plans and project designs, this integration has been limited,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report [...]
Greenland (Credit: Matthew Cooper) A new UCLA-led study reinforces the importance of collaboration in assessing the effects of climate change. The research, published Dec. 5 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers new insights about previously unknown factors affecting Greenland's melting ice sheet, and it could ultimately help scientists [...]
(Credit: Graphic by Kathy Seibert/LLNL) Arctic sea ice loss of the magnitude expected in the next few decades could impact California's rainfall and exacerbate future droughts, according to new research led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists. (From Science Daily)-- The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice cover observed over the satellite [...]
Scientists have identified a way in which the effects of Antarctic melting can be enhanced. Their new satellite observations of the Dotson Ice Shelf show its losses, far from being even, are actually focused on a long, narrow sector. In places, this has cut an inverted canyon through more than half the thickness of the shelf structure. If the melting continued unabated, it would break Dotson in 40-50 years, not the 200 years currently projected. "That is unlikely to happen because the ice will respond in some way to the imbalance," said Noel Gourmelen, from the University of Edinburgh, UK. "It's possible the area of thinning could widen or the flow of ice could change. Both would affect the rate at which the channel forms. But ...
The giant berg A-68 looks finally to be on the move. Recent weeks have seen it shuffle back and forth next to the Antarctic ice shelf from which it broke away. But the latest satellite imagery now indicates the near-6,000 sq km block is swinging out into the Weddell Sea.
Algae that tinge snow red are to blame for about a sixth of the snowmelt at an Alaskan ice field. Microbes are pushing glacial snow into the red. An alga species that grows on glaciers gives the snow a crimson hue, which increases the amount of sunlight that the snow soaks up and makes it melt faster, new measurements confirm. On Alaska’s Harding Icefield, these microbes are responsible for about a sixth of the snowmelt in algae-tinged areas, researchers report September 18 in Nature Geoscience. The finding suggests that future climate simulations, unlike current ones, should account for the effects of these algae when making predictions about glacial melt.
A sentinel of Earth’s climate is going dark. After running for a decade beyond its planned life, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) is nearly out of fuel and will soon make its final science run, NASA announced late yesterday. The tandem of satellites—called GRACE-1 and GRACE-2—measure minute shifts in Earth’s gravity to chart flows of mass across the planet, such as the unexpectedly rapid melt of polar ice sheets and the drawdown of underground water reservoirs called aquifers.
In 1974, images acquired from NOAA satellites revealed a puzzling phenomenon: a 250,000 square kilometer opening in the winter sea ice in the Weddell Sea, south of South America. The opening, known as a polynya, persisted over three winters. Such expansive ice-free areas in the ocean surrounding Antarctica have not been seen since, though a small polynya was seen last year.
Quantitative analysis has evidenced the acceleration system of melting ice: dark water surfaces absorb more heat than white ice surfaces, thus melting ice and making more water surfaces in the Arctic Ocean. Ice-covered sea areas in the Arctic Ocean during summer have nearly halved since the 1970s and 1980s, raising alarm that the ocean is shifting from a multiyear to a seasonal ice zone. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has forecasted summer ice cover in the polar ocean might disappear almost completely as early as 2050. Various factors have been cited as causes, including rising temperatures and changes in atmospheric circulation patterns.
Antarctica has been having a rough time of it lately, you may have heard. You know — greenhouse gases, warming oceans, trillion-ton icebergs breaking off the continent like a middle-aged man losing hair in the sink. Not the best century for the old South Pole. And now it turns out Antarctica has problems we didn't even know about. Deep problems. Volcanoes-under-the-ice problems, which doesn't sound healthy.