Posted on November 27, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
New modeling may help generate more accurate predictions of sea level rise
An iceberg from Alaska’s Columbia Glacier floats in Prince William Sound. Photo by Kim Fenske.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Alaska’s Columbia Glacier — a poster child for the impacts of global warming — is likely to stop receding around 2020, when the terminus of the glacier retreats into water shallow enough to provide a stable position through 2100 by slowing the rate of iceberg production.
The Columbia Glacier is a large (425 square miles), multi-branched glacier in south-central Alaska that flows mostly south out of the Chugach Mountains to its tidewater terminus in Prince William Sound.
The new study by Boulder-based University of Colorado scientists with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences shows that a single glacier’s contribution to sea level rise can “turn on” and “turn off” quite rapidly, over a couple of years, with the precise timing of the life cycle being difficult to forecast. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: CIRES, climate change, Columbia Glacier, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, global warming, sea level rise | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Valuable program threatened by NOAA funding cuts
A NASA map shows global temperature anomalies in March 2012.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — An intensive long-term monitoring program has enabled researchers to analyze and compare emissions from man-made fossil fuels and trace gases in the atmosphere, which could help measure the effectiveness of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases — but the program is being threatened by budget cuts.
“We think the approach offered by this study can increase the accuracy of emissions detection and verification for fossil fuel combustion and a host of other man-made gases,” said CU-Boulder Senior Research Associate Scott Lehman, who led the study with CU-Boulder Research Associate John Miller.
Lehman, with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, said the approach of using carbon-14 has been supported by the National Academy of Sciences and could be an invaluable tool for monitoring greenhouse gases by federal agencies like NOAA. (more…)
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Earth System Research Laboratory, global warming, greenhouse gases, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 6, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Water on the surface of glaciers and ice sheets can trickle down through cracks and transport heat to deep inside, speeding melting. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO.
CU research shows how water can warm glaciers and icecaps from within
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — New research shows that water flowing through ice sheets like Greenland‘s can spread heat throughout the ice and speed up melting tremendously, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder.
“We are finding that once such water flow is initiated through a new section of ice sheet, it can warm rather significantly and quickly, sometimes in just 10 years, ” said lead author Thomas Phillips, a research scientist with Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. CIRES is a joint institute between CU-Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Existing models of ice sheets haven’t accounted for the heat that’s spread internally — they only factored in surface heat from the sun’s radiation and warmer air on the surface of the ice, the researchers said. Based on the study, the Greeland ice sheet could respond to such warming on the order of decades rather than the centuries projected by conventional thermal models. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Environment, Geophysical Research Letters, global warming, greenland, Greenland ice sheet, ice sheets, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, University of Colorado at Boulder | Leave a Comment »