Tag: East Antarctica

Antarctica is melting all over

No ice build-up in East Antarctica, new study says

Antarctica permafrost
Antarctica is melting all over. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

Despite some suggestions that increased has bolstered the vast East Antarctic ice sheet, it appears the frozen continent is still shedding ice and has been a net contributor to sea level rise since at least 2003.

There’s been little doubt during the last decade that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been losing mass, but the picture has been much less clear to the east, where there’s enough ice to raise global sea level by some 50 meters. One study led by NASA researchers in 2015 suggested that this part of Antarctica was gaining so much mass that it compensated for the losses in the west. Continue reading “Antarctica is melting all over”


The grandest of canyons?

The ice fields of Antarctica
Is the world’s largest canyon hidden under the Antarctic Ice Sheet? @bberwyn photo.

Researchers find vast chasm hidden beneath the ice of East Antarctica

Staff Report

Deep under the Antarctic ice sheet, there may be a chasm that’s as deep as the Grand Canyon, but many times longer, according to new geologic research led by scientists with Durham University.

The canyon system is made up of a chain of winding and linear features buried under several kilometres of ice in one of the last unexplored regions of the Earth’s land surface: Princess Elizabeth Land (PEL) in East Antarctica. Continue reading “The grandest of canyons?”

Antarctica meltdown likely to speed up soon

Ice sheets of the Antarctic Peninsula. @bberwyn photo

Natural variability still the key driver for East Antarctica temps

Staff Report

FRISCO — A lack of widespread data from Antarctica means it’s still challenging to differentiate human-driven global warming from natural temperature variations in the region, German scientists said in a new study.

Climate researchers need to understand temperature trends in Antarctica to better predict how fast the ice will melt and raise global sea level. But the study concluded that the uncertainties in the temperature trends over Antarctica are larger than previously estimated. Continue reading “Antarctica meltdown likely to speed up soon”

Climate: More melting ahead for East Antarctica glaciers

Seafloor channels sluicing warm ocean water toward base of East Antarctica’s Totten Glacier

Increasing concentrations of CO2 could turn this Antarctic beach into a tropical zone. Photo by Bob Berwyn.
Are Antarctica’s ice sheets near a global warming tipping point? bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Scientists say they’re a step closer to understanding the extreme thinning of East Antarctica’s largest glacier, which contains enough ice to raise global sea level by about 11 feet.

Ocean gateways are sluicing warm water toward the base of the Totten Glacier near the shoreline, undercutting the icy anchors that slow the advance of the ice toward the sea, according to researchers with the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, who outline their findings in the March 16 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

Similar findings from the region were reported by Australian scientists just a few weeks ago, and another study showed widespread thinning of ice in East Antarctica. Continue reading “Climate: More melting ahead for East Antarctica glaciers”

East Antarctica ice sheets not immune to global warming

An international research team explores the geological history of the Gamburtsev Mountains, buried under two miles of ice in eastern Antarctica.
New research shows that even the frigid fringes of East Antarctica are melting away under warming seas.

Warming ocean melts ice from below

Staff Report

FRISCO — It’s not just the West Antarctic ice sheets that are melting away as the surrounding ocean warms, Australian scientists reported after a six week voyage to the eastern side of the frozen continent.

A series of detailed measurements show that warm ocean water is melting the Totten Glacier — the largest in the region, with enough ice to raise sea level by several meters, according to the findings by the Australian Antarctic Division and partnering research organizations. Continue reading “East Antarctica ice sheets not immune to global warming”

Russia, China block Antarctica conservation plans

Proposals for vast marine preserves fail for the fourth time

Plans to protect the Antarctic environment are still on hold. bberwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Russia and China have once again showed their unwillingness to participate in global efforts to protect the environment in Antarctica by blocking a plan to create new marine reserves off the shore of eastern Antarctica and in the Ross Sea.

Both countries are more interested in exploiting natural resources in the region than in establishing a collaborative framework for sustainable management of the fish and krill. Russia voted for the fourth time to block the proposal for new marine protected areas, while China opposed the plans for the first time. Continue reading “Russia, China block Antarctica conservation plans”

Russia blocks Antarctic conservation plans

International commission can’t reach agreement on proposals for new marine protected areas

A global push to protect marine resources around Antarctica was stymied by Russia and Ukraine during a special meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Russia may talk about cooperation on global conservation issues, but when push comes to shove, the neo-imperialist nation didn’t walk the walk when it had the chance to support creation of new ocean sanctuaries around Antarctica.

In the end, the Russian delegation to Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources challenged the group’s legal authority to create new marine protected areas in the Ross Sea and off the coast of eastern Antarctica. That means the special CCAMLR meeting called specifically to try and win consensus for the new preserves ended without conclusive action, leaving conservation groups disappointed.

The failure to reach agreement represents “the loss of an extraordinary opportunity to protect the global marine environment for future generations,” the Antarctic Ocean Alliance said in a statement after the end of CCAMLR’s session in Bremerhaven, Germany. Continue reading “Russia blocks Antarctic conservation plans”