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Warm Ocean Waters to Blame for Antarctic Ice Melt

April 26, 2012 Comments off

livescience.com

Antarctica's Brunt Ice Shelf.
Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf.
CREDIT: British Antarctic Survey

When it comes to melting ice shelves in Antarctica, the danger comes from below, new research suggests.

By discovering the anatomy of ice loss across this chilly expanse, research may be able to forecast how the continent will melt in the future — and also how much global seas may rise.

Team member David Vaughan, a scientist at the European Union initiative ice2sea, said this study “shows the key to predicting how the ice sheet will change in the future is in understanding the oceans.”

Water or wind?

Scientists have long known that the wide platforms of ice extending from the southernmost continent have been shrinking away. But what’s behind the melting hasn’t been clear — whether warm ocean currents or surface winds have a bigger impact on the ice.

Now, a new satellite survey of Antarctica places the blame largely on the water. “In most places in Antarctica, we can’t explain the ice-shelf thinning through melting of snow at Read more…

29,000 troops ‘axed within 5 years’

April 26, 2012 Comments off

ukpress

silhouette of soldiers saluting The US Army could axe as many as 24,000 enlisted staff and up to 5,000 officers within five years to meet a projected reduction in the force driven by budget cuts and the winding down of two wars, a Pentagon chief signalled.

Pressed on the possibility of involuntary terminations, Thomas Lamont, an assistant secretary of the army, told a Senate Armed Services panel that redundancies were possible as the army shrinks from a peak of 570,000 to 490,000.

“I hate to throw out numbers, but I have seen numbers that would approach enlisted category perhaps as high as mid-20s, 23, 24,000,” Mr Lamont said.

“On the officer contingent, again these are very rough numbers and all based again on assumptions and attrition rates, officers may go up” to 4,500 to 5,000.

Defence secretary Leon Panetta, in announcing the Pentagon budget earlier this year, also said the Marines would drop by 20,000, to 182,000. The Pentagon has indicated that the reductions would Read more…

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