Posted on November 11, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
New study pinpoints regional growth and decline of Antarctic sea ice
Researchers are starting to understand how shifting wind patterns are driving changes in Antarctic sea ice extent. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — After compiling more than 5 million individual daily ice motion measurements of sea ice motion around Antarctica, scientists from the U.S. and U.K. say they’re sure that the recent increases in Antarctic sea ice are linked to changing wind patterns in the region.
Essentially, the circumpolar winds are strengthening around Antarctica, said Dr. Ron Kwok, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Why those winds are intensifying, and whether it’s linked with a warming atmosphere remains as a huge question, Kwok said. View a mult-year animation of Antarctic sea ice changes here.
“We are basically finding evidence of change over a long time scale … That’s why it’s inportant to quantify the mechanisms,” he said. “It’s probably associated with a changing climate. The Antarctic sea ice interacts with the global climate system very differently than that of the Arctic, and these results highlight the sensitivity of the Antarctic ice coverage to changes in the strength of the winds around the continent.” Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Uncategorized | Tagged: antarctic sea ice, Antarctica, Bellingshausen Sea, British Antarctic Survey, circumpolar winds, climate change, global warming, NASA, ozone hole, Polar ice packs | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
NASA’s Operation IceBridge surveys Thwaites Glacier and Bellinghausen Sea
This NASA photo shows the calving front of Thwaites Ice Shelf looking at the ice below the water’s surface. Note how the water acts as a blue filter.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — As Arctic sea ice melted away to a new record-low level this summer, global warming deniers tried to deflect attention from the meltdown by emphasizing the growth in Antarctic sea ice.
Of course, the increase in Antarctic sea ice is small compared to the loss of Arctic ice, and there are other hints that Antarctica is set to experience some major changes. In coming decades, entire ice shelves along the coast may crumble into the sea, potentially contributing significantly to sea level rise.
To measure those impending changes, NASA has been doing extensive aerial surveys in Antarctica with Operation IceBridge, and this year’s flying season began productively with a land ice survey of Thwaites Glacier and a sea ice flight over parts of the Bellingshausen Sea. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica, Bellingshausen Sea, ice shelves, NASA, Operation IceBridge, Sea ice, Thwaites Glacier | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 3, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Just slight warming in the Southern Ocean could enable king crabs to colonize new territory, with unknown consequences for existing ecoystems. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
Warming ocean temps threaten could ecoystem stability
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Just a small shift in temperatures in the Southern Ocean could enable king crabs to spread to Antarctica’s continental shelf and threaten existing ecosystems that aren’t equipped to deal with the voracious predators.
Crabs are cold-blooded, so their body temperature is largely determined by the surrounding environment. The crabs live mostly in cold, deep-sea habitats, but experiments have shown their larvae fail to mature in water temperatures below around half a degree Celsius, even after only brief exposure. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, global warming, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Antarctica, Bellingshausen Sea, Continental shelf, Environment, global warming, King crab, National Oceanography Centre, Ross Sea, Southern Ocean, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News | 1 Comment »