Posted on November 12, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Detailed measurements to help pinpoint rate of ice shelf melt
Melting Antarctica ice shelves are raising global sea level. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — The Southern Ocean, surrounding Antarctica, is mostly separated from the rest of the world’s oceans by a sharp temperature boundary and swift currents. But the border between the different masses of water is regularly blurred by giant swirls of water that may be transporting warmer water to the edge of the frozen continent.
Knowing how that process works could help scientists understand how fast Antarctic ice shelves will melt and raise global sea level, according to Caltech scientists who used robotic gliders to track the movement of water in the region. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, sea level rise, Southern Ocean, West Antarctic ice shelf | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
How fast will the Greenland Ice Sheet melt? Credit: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio.
New study probes role of subglacial runoff channels
FRISCO — Scientists continue to probe and poke at the Greenland Ice Sheet to try and figure out exactly how fast it will melt as global temperatures rise. In one of the newest studies, an international team drilled boreholes to measure melt rates and ice movements, finding that the story is even more complicated than we thought.
“Although the Greenland Ice Sheet initially speeds up each summer in its slow-motion race to the sea, the network of meltwater channels beneath the sheet is not necessarily forming the slushy racetrack that had been previously considered,” said Matthew Hoffman, a Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist on the project, which clarifies the evolution of the meltwater flow rates over the seasons. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Greenland ice sheet, sea level rise | 1 Comment »
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
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Greenland ice sheet, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
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
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: CU Boulder, Environment, glaciers, sea level rise | 1 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 »