Posted on November 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Some of Greenland’s biggest glaciers may be on the verge of crumbling into the sea, according to new satellite data. @bberwyn photo.
Study tracks rapid retreat of major ice streams
Scientists may not have to wait too much longer to observe firsthand the effects of global warming on Greenland’s ice sheets. One of the largest glaciers in Greenland entered “a phase of accelerated retreat in 2012,” and may be near a climate tipping point, according to new research published in the current issue of Science.
After studying the Zachariae Isstrom, scientists with the University of California, Irvine, said it’s starting to break up.
“North Greenland glaciers are changing rapidly,” said Jeremie Mouginot, an assistant researcher with UCI’s department of earth system science. “The shape and dynamics of Zachariae Isstrom have changed dramatically over the last few years. The glacier is now breaking up and calving high volumes of icebergs into the ocean, which will result in rising sea levels for decades to come.” Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Environment, glaciers, global warming, greenland, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 27, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Researchers try to pinpoint sea level rise projections
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Sea level is set to rise at least three feet during the next few decades, NASA scientists and ice researchers said this week, updating their latest research and findings on how fast the world’s ice sheets and glaciers are melting.
The scientists said they’re still not sure exactly how fast the water will rise, but they’re getting closer to nailing down the timing, thanks to several ongoing research projects, including a five-year effort to measure ice loss around the edge of Greenland.
The goal, of course, is to help coastal communities prepare for the big changes ahead. Agriculture, transportation and other infrastructure like water treatment plants will all be affected by sea level rise. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: climate change, glaciers, global warming, greenland, ice sheets, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Influx of cold, fresher water could tip climate scale
FRISCO — Earth scientists have long speculated that a massive infusion of cold and relatively fresh water into the North Atlantic could disrupt a key climate-regulating ocean current, with huge consequences for adjacent land areas.
New measurements of ocean temperatures in the region, along with other climate data, now suggest that the Atlantic Overturning Current has already slowed quite a bit in the past 100 years, and especially since 1970. The current, which is related to the Gulf Stream, helps moderate temperatures in northwestern Europe and northeastern North America.
Further weakening of the current could impact marine ecosystems and sea level as well as weather systems in the US and Europe, scientists say in a new study to be published in Nature Climate Change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Atlantic overturning current, global warming, greenland, Gulf Stream | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 8, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Warming temps around Greenland may be partly due to natural climate variability.
New study shows link between Pacific Ocean hotspot and North Atlantic weather patterns
FRISCO — Climate researchers and glaciologists have long been tracking the meltdown of Greenland’s glaciers. The region has been warming at the astounding rate of about 1 degree Celsius per decade — several times the global average — but part of that may be due to natural variability, according to a new study led by University of Washington scientists.
The research suggests up to half the recent warming in the area may be linked with climate patterns born in the tropical western Pacific rather than with the overall warming of the planet. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Arctic, climate change, Environment, global warming, greenland, sea level rise | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A new study of Greenland ice cores suggests parts of the ice sheet persisted through previous global warming spells.
Will there be a meltdown?
FRISCO — At least some parts of the Greenland ice sheet likely survived some of the warmest interludes in the Earth’s geologic climate history, researchers said last week as they announced findings of a study that discovered an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice.
“We found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet for 2.7 million years,” said University of Vermont geologist and lead author Paul Bierman. The finding provides strong evidence that the Greenland Ice Sheet has persisted much longer than previously known, enduring through many past periods of global warming. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: climate, climate change, global warming, greenland, Greenland ice sheet | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 4, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
New data shows at least one glacier moving at a record pace of 50 feet per day
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Arctic ice researchers say detailed measurements show that one Greenland’s glaciers has been moving at a record speed the past few years.
The scientists with the University of Washington and the German Space Agency measured the movement of the Jakobshavn Isbræ (Jakobshavn Glacier) in 2012 and 2013, concluding that the glacier is moving four times as fast as during the 1990s.
“We are now seeing summer speeds more than 4 times what they were in the 1990s on a glacier which at that time was believed to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, glacier in Greenland,” said Ian Joughin, a researcher at the Polar Science Center, University of Washington and lead-author of the study. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change impacts, glaciers, global warming, greenland, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 25, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘The warming we are seeing is outside any kind of known natural variability, and it has to be due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere …’
Baffin Island‘s ice caps are melting fast under an unprecedented regime of global warming, according to a new CU-Boulder study: Photo courtesy NASA.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — After radiocarbon dating samples of moss at the edge of melting ice caps on Baffin Island, scientists said there’s little doubt that current warming in the Arctic is unprecedented, even on a geological time scale.
Average summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic during the last 100 years are higher than during any century in the past 44,000 years and perhaps as long ago as 120,000 years, according to a University of Colorado Boulder study.
“The key piece here is just how unprecedented the warming of Arctic Canada is,” said CU-Boulder geologist Gifford Miller, also a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. “This study really says the warming we are seeing is outside any kind of known natural variability, and it has to be due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Arctic, Baffin Island, climate change, global warming, greenland, Little Ice Age | 1 Comment »