Posts Tagged 'Ice sheet'

This Melting Glacier in Antarctica Could Raise Sea Levels By 11 Feet

The Earth’s climate, it seems, isn’t listening to the politicians that are insisting it’s not warming. The temperature continues to rise incrementally, and the globe’s large glaciers—giant vaults of stored water—continue to melt, releasing into the oceans. The global sea level, due to thermal expansion and glacial melting, continues to rise, building up a head of steam like a train just beginning its descent down a steep hill.

Greenland’s hulking glacier and the Arctic Sea ice are now marked by their ...

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Greenland on thin ice?

The ice sheet covering Greenland is four times bigger than California — and holds enough water to raise global sea-level more than twenty feet if most of it were to melt. Today, sea levels are rising and the melting of Greenland is a major contributor. Understanding how fast this melting might proceed is a pressing question for policymakers and coastal communities.

To make predictions about the future of the ice sheet, scientists have tried to understand its past, hoping to glean ...

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Greenland ice is melting seven percent faster than previously thought

The same hotspot in Earth’s mantle that feeds Iceland’s active volcanoes has been playing a trick on the scientists who are trying to measure how much ice is melting on nearby Greenland.

According to a new study in the journal Science Advances, the hotspot softened the mantle rock beneath Greenland in a way that ultimately distorted their calculations for ice loss in the Greenland ice sheet. This caused them to underestimate the melting by about 20 gigatons (20 billion metric tons) per ...

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Tim Radford -Antarctic glacier melt could raise sea level by 3m

LONDON, 21 May, 2016 – One of Antarctica’s great glaciers could become unstable if global warming continues at the present pace. As warm seas wash the ice shelf, the land-based mass of ice could begin to retreat, cross a critical threshold in the present century and then withdraw 300 kilometres inland.

In the course of doing so it would spill tremendous quantities of water into the oceans: enough to raise global sea levels by 2.9 metres and threaten cities that are ...

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Bill McKibben – The Time Has Come to Turn Up the Heat on Those Who are Wrecking Planet Earth

An interesting question is, what are you waiting for?

Global warming is the biggest problem we’ve ever faced as a civilisation — certainly you want to act to slow it down, but perhaps you’ve been waiting for just the right moment.

The moment when, oh, marine biologists across the Pacific begin weeping in their scuba masks as they dive on reefs bleached of life in a matter of days. The moment when drought in India gets deep enough that there  Continue Reading →

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Greenland’s darkening ice is melting faster

A dusty film of pollution is muting the reflective whiteness of Greenland’s pristine icecap and making it vulnerable to accelerated melting rates.

Greenland is getting darker. Climatology’s great white hope, the biggest block of ice in the northern hemisphere, is losing its reflectivity.

According to new research, the island’s dusty snows are absorbing ever more solar radiation, which is likely to accelerate the rate at which the icecap melts.

The Greenland icecap covers 1.7 million square kilometres and contains enough ice to raise ...

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Emissions could make Earth uninhabitable

Greenhouse gases could tip the Earth – or at least a planet like Earth, orbiting a star very like the Sun – into a runaway greenhouse effect, according to new research.

The new hothouse planet would become increasingly steamy, and then start to lose its oceans to interplanetary space. Over time, it would become completely dry, stay at a temperature at least 60°C hotter than it is now, and remain completely uninhabitable, even if greenhouse gas levels could be reduced.

Max Popp, ...

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Greenland ice sheet melts more when it’s cloudy

Clouds play a bigger role in the melting of the Greenland ice sheet than was previously assumed. Compared to clear skies, clouds enhance the meltwater runoff by a third. Those are the findings of an international study that was coordinated by KU Leuven and published in Nature Communications.

Greenland’s ice sheet is the second largest ice mass in the world – the largest is Antarctica. The ice sheet is losing mass at a high speed and increasingly contributes to the sea ...

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Climate change altering Greenland ice sheet and accelerating sea level rise, says York University professor

TORONTO, January 4, 2016 – The Greenland ice sheet has traditionally been pictured as a bit of a sponge for glacier meltwater, but new research has found it is rapidly losing the ability to buffer its contribution to rising sea levels, says a York University researcher.

York U Professor William Colgan, a co-author on the study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, helped analyse data from three expeditions to the Greenland ice sheet in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The ...

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Tim Radford – West Antarctic ice cascades towards crisis

Just a few more decades of ocean warming would be enough to destabilise the relatively small region of ice by the Amundsen Sea − starting a cascade of slipping and sliding that would tip enough ice into the ocean to raise sea levels by three metres. The loss of ice would continue for centuries.

Two scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they wanted to ...

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