Posted on September 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Black-footed albatross with chick, nesting black-footed albatrosses are especially vulnerable to sea-level rise and sudden flooding on low-lying islands. Location: Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy Wieteke Holthuijzen.USGS.
Nesting areas on low-lying islands vulnerable to flooding
Shy seabirds that nest mostly on low-lying islands are particularly vulnerable to the threat of sea level rise, USGS researchers said after studying Laysan albatrosses, black-footed albatrosses and Bonin petrels in the Pacific.
“Our study illustrates that sea-level rise threats will affect low-lying Pacific Islands earlier than previously expected,” said seabird ecologist Karen Courtot of the U.S. Geological Survey. “Restoring seabird colonies at higher elevations provides alternatives for species most vulnerable to overwash events before nests are perpetually flooded.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, sea level rise, seabirds | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Inundation ‘tipping points’ are near
This year’s strong El Niño could increase the risk of nuisance flooding in many coastal communities.
FRISCO — When you take steadily rising sea levels and add in a strong El Niño, it’s a perfect recipe for nuisance flooding, federal climate researchers said in a new report that aims to quantify high water risks for coastal communities.
According to the NOAA report, many mid-Atlantic and West Coast communities could see the highest number of nuisance flooding days on record through April, with some locations seeing a 33 to 125 percent increase in the number of nuisance flooding days. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño, global warming | Tagged: climate change, El Nino, flooding, global warming, 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 July 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Can the National Park Service protect coastal assets from rising sea levels? Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force.
Study says $40 billion in park assets at risk
FRISCO — Researchers are only a third of the way through their efforts to catalog how rising sea level threatens national parks, but they’ve already documented risks to more than $40 billion worth of park assets.
“Many coastal parks already deal with threats from sea level rise and from storms that damage roads, bridges, docks, water systems and parking lots,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a prepared statement. “This infrastructure is essential to day-to-day park operations, but the historical and cultural resources such as lighthouses, fortifications and archaeological sites that visitors come to see are also at risk of damage or loss.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, national parks, public lands, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Photograph of the calving terminus of Tyndall Glacier, located at the head of Taan Fiord, Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Photo courtesy USGS.
New study helps quantify glacial meltdown
FRISCO — Global warming is melting Alaska’s glaciers so fast that the water would cover the entire state a foot deep every seven years, scientists report in a new study. The melting won’t slow down anytime soon and will be a major factor in global sea level rise, the researchers said.
“The Alaska region has long been considered a primary player in the global sea level budget, but the exact details on the drivers and mechanisms of Alaska glacier change have been stubbornly elusive,” said Chris Larsen, a research associate professor with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Continue reading
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Posted on May 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Study shows widespread, simultaneous ice shelf melting
Satellite data shows sudden shift in ice shelf dynamics along the southern Antarctic Peninsula. @berwyn photo.
FRISCO — Along with studies showing dramatic changes in individual ice shelves in Antarctica, new research shows widespread changes in the region since 2009. Up until then, the Southern Antarctic Peninsula showed no signs of change.
But suddenly, multiple glaciers along a vast coastal expanse, measuring some 750km in length, suddenly started to shed ice into the ocean at a nearly constant rate of 60 cubic kilometers, or about 55 trillion liters of water, each year. This makes the region the second largest contributor to sea level rise in Antarctica and the ice loss shows no sign of waning. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, climate change, climate tipping point, global warming, sea level rise | Leave a comment »