Posted on November 18, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
New NASA visual helps trace path of greenhouse gases
FRISCO — In a way, addressing global warming is like fighting a ghost. How do you tackle odorless and colorless heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide and methane?
NASA, the government agency that literally has the best global perspective on climate change, has just released a new computer generated animation that help show the source of greenhouse gases and how they disperse around the planet. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: carbon dioxide animation, global warming, greenhouse gases, NASA | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 1, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A depiction of the ozone hole over Antarctica, courtesy NOAA.
Ozone-depleting chemicals decreasing in atmosphere, but weather plays big role in year-to-year variability
FRISCO — The ozone hole over Antarctica didn’t change much from last year, scientists said this week, pointing to weather and climate variability as key factors in year-to-year variability.
The single-day maximum area was similar to that in 2013, which reached 9.3 million square miles. The largest single-day ozone hole ever recorded by satellite was 11.5 million square miles) on Sept. 9, 2000. Overall, the 2014 ozone hole is smaller than the large holes of the 1998–2006 period, and is comparable to 2010, 2012, and 2013. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Environment | Tagged: Antarctica, atmospheric science, climate change, environement, NASA, NOAA, ozone hole | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 6, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Arctic cloud formation still a climate wild card
Sun glints off a sea ice lead in an otherwise heavily ridged ice pack, Canada Basin (Arctic Ocean). Credit: NASA/Sinead Farrell
FRISCO — The ongoing loss of Arctic sea ice is probably already affecting weather and climate in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Researchers aren’t exactly sure of how, but there’s been plenty of speculation, mostly focused around changes in the jet stream.
Climate scientists may know a bit more in a few years after they study the results of a new NASA field campaign studying the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) will conduct research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, climate, extreme weather, global warming, NASA | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 19, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA image of Comet ISON taken in April 2013.
Experts still not sure if the comet will survive
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Sky watchers hoping for a spectacular appearance by Comet ISON are carefully tracking the comet’s path as it approaches the sun. Though the comet isn’t visible to casual observers just yet, astronomers have been able to capture some clear images, especially after an outburst in mid-November boosted the comet’s brightness tenfold, according to NASA.
But nobody knows for sure what will happen next, especially since the comet is on a path for a close pass by the sun on Thanksgiving Day. There’s a chance the comet could disintegrate at any time — according to NASA, that happens less than 1 percent of the time when they get this close to the sun. Continue reading
Filed under: astronomy, Environment | Tagged: astronomy, Comet ISON, comets, NASA, Oort Cloud | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 2, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Surface measurements will provide baseline data for upcoming satellite mission
Click on the image for more information on Greenland’s thinning ice cap.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A new airborne research effort by NASA will help measure ice loss in the Arctic by measuring changes in the height of the Greenland ice sheet and surrounding Arctic sea ice produced by a single season of summer melt.
The survey flights, running through Nov. 16, will collect data to improve the understanding of seasonal melt and provide baseline measurements for future satellite missions.
The land and sea ice data gathered during this campaign will give researchers a more comprehensive view of seasonal changes and provide context for measurements that will be gathered during NASA’s ICESat-2 mission, which is scheduled for launch in 2016. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Greenland | Tagged: global warming, Greenland ice sheet, IceSat-2, NASA | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 2, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Radar data deciphers topography beneath the ice
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Someday, if the Greenland ice cap melts because of global warming, tourists may have a new destination to rival the Grand Canyon.
After studying data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge, geographers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom said they found evidence of 460-mile canyon hidden under a mile of Greenland ice. In places, the previously undiscovered canyon is 2,600 feet deep. The huge gash is thought to predate the ice sheet that has covered Greenland for the last few million years.
“One might assume that the landscape of the Earth has been fully explored and mapped,” said Jonathan Bamber, professor of physical geography at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and lead author of the study. “Our research shows there’s still a lot left to discover.” Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, Greenland | Tagged: Bristol University, geography, greenland, Greenland ice sheet, NASA, Operation IceBridge, Petermann Glacier | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 24, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New record unlikely this year, NASA says
Sun glints off a sea ice lead in an otherwise heavily ridged ice pack, Canada Basin (Arctic Ocean). Photo courtesy NASA/Sinead Farrell.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Arctic sea ice loss is unlikely to reach last year’s record low level, but there’s no sign of any recovery, either, NASA scientists said the week. This summer’s melt rate is consistent with the sustained decline of the Arctic ice cover observed by NASA and other satellites over the last several decades, the U.S. space agency said.
Overall, Arctic sea ice has declined at a rate of about 14 percent per decade since satellite measurements started in 1978, and rate has accelerated since 2007.
“Even if this year ends up being the sixth- or seventh-lowest extent, what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years,” said Walt Meier, a glaciologist with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “The long-term trend is strongly downward.” Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, climate change, global warming, NASA | Leave a comment »