Posted on August 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Sea level is rising, and will continue to rise for centuries even if we cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Addressing non-climatic impacts will improve long-term resilience
FRISCO — From mountains, forests and rivers down to the seashore, a common theme among researchers is that, in many places, human impacts stemming from land use and development still outweigh the global warming signal.
That includes coastal regions, were there is an immediate need to tackle the threats from non-climatic changes, an international research team said this week after a detailed review of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, coastal adaptation, global warming, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Reading the history of Antarctica’s ice sheets is helping climate scientists project the future.
Transition from glacial periods punctuated by sudden surges of ice melt and sea level rise
FRISCO — Even without the addition of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion, the Antarctica ice sheets may be vulnerable to sudden collapse and melting. One such episode, about 14,600 years ago, is thought to have caused sea level to rise by more than 12 feet in just 100 years.
Scientists are racing to understand the dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheets because of the potentially significant consequences of rapid changes, and in one of the newest studies, they’ve traced some of the big iceberg calving events between about 19,000 and 9,000 years ago by analyzing deep sea sediment cores extracted from the region between the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: Antarctic meltdown, Antarctica, climate change, global warming, sea level rise | 3 Comments »
Posted on May 19, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
How fast will the Greenland Ice Sheet melt?
Credit: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio.
FRISCO — New data on Greenland’s rugged shoreline topography doesn’t bode well for coastal cities around the world. A series of deep canyons stretching for miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet will enable warming ocean water to flow beneath the ice, accelerating melting and sea level rise, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The bedrock canyons sit well below sea level, meaning that as subtropical Atlantic waters hit the fronts of hundreds of glaciers, those edges will erode much further than had been assumed and release far greater amounts of water, the study found. Continue reading
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Posted on May 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The world’s glaciers are dwindling.
CU Boulder scientists help lead mapping effort
FRISCO — Lots of quibbling over the exact rate and pace of glacier melt has at least partly obscured the grim reality that many of the world’s glaciated regions will see profound changes in the next few decades as global temperatures continue to rise.
That meltdown will raise sea level, but so far, nobody has been able to quantify the amount precisely. But new data gathered in a study led by University of Colorado, Boulder scientists should help. The team, including researchers from Trent University in Ontario, Canada recently completed the first mapping of virtually all of the world’s glaciers. That enables calculations of their volumes and ongoing contributions to global sea rise as the world warms. Continue reading
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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 February 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
How fast will Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier melt?
Findings suggest the West Antarctica glacier is very sensitive to environmental change
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier is likely to remain a significant factor in global sea level rise for decades to come, as a warming ocean melts the ice from beneath.
Geologists from the UK, USA and Germany used highly sensitive dating techniques, pioneered by one of the team, to track the thinning of the glacier through time, and to show that past thinning has lasted for several decades.
Rocks exposed by retreating or thinning glaciers provide evidence of past ice sheet change, which helps scientists to predict possible future change. The research results were published this week in Science. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, climate change, Environment, Piine Island Glacier, sea level rise | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 5, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘If we ignore this problem, the consequences will be dramatic’
Winter storm surge eats away a beach on the west coast of Florida. bberwyn photo.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Watching damage from individual megastorms like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan is bad enough, but the outlook for coming decades is downright scary.
According to new research, global average storm surge damages could increase from about $10-$40 billion per year today to up to $100,000 billion per year by the end of century without significant adaptation measures.
“If we ignore this problem, the consequences will be dramatic,” said Jochen Hinkel, a researcher with the Berlin-based think-tank Global Climate Forum. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change impacts, coastal flood damage, extreme weather, global warming, sea level rise, Storm surge | Leave a comment »