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Posts Tagged ‘Antarctica’

West Antarctica Warming in Triple Time

December 26, 2012 Comments off

discovery.com

Bromwich

The study by Bromwich and colleagues suggests that such exceptional melting events as in January 2005 could become more frequent in the future. Top: Map of Antarctica showing the extent of surface melting in January 2005 observed from space. Bottom: Time series of mean January temperature at Byrd Station from 1957 to 2011 with the warm January 2005 highlighted with a yellow circle. Credit: background map from Google Earth; satellite observations of surface melting courtesy of G. Picard (LGGE)

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming at twice the rate previously thought, say scientists who have teased the information from more than 50 years of temperature data at Byrd Station, in the center of the ice. The average temperature at that station has risen Read more…

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Categories: Antarctica Tags: , ,

CU-Boulder study shows global glaciers, ice caps, shedding billions of tons of mass annually

February 13, 2012 Comments off

eurekalert.org

Study also shows Greenland, Antarctica and global glaciers and ice caps lost roughly 8 times the volume of Lake Erie from 2003-2010

IMAGE: A new CU-Boulder study using the NASA/Germany GRACE satellite shows Earth is losing roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually. Credit-NASA

Earth’s glaciers and ice caps outside of the regions of Greenland and Antarctica are shedding roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The research effort is the first comprehensive satellite study of the contribution of the world’s melting glaciers and ice caps to global sea level rise and indicates they are adding roughly 0.4 millimeters annually, said CU-Boulder physics Professor John Wahr, who helped lead the study. The measurements are important because the melting of the world’s glaciers and ice caps, along with Greenland and Antarctica, pose the greatest threat to sea level increases in the future, Wahr said.

The researchers used satellite measurements taken with the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, a joint effort of NASA and Germany, to calculate that the world’s glaciers and ice caps had lost about 148 billion tons, or about 39 cubic miles of ice annually from 2003 to 2010. The total does not count the mass from individual glacier and ice caps on the fringes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets — roughly an additional 80 billion tons.

“This is the first time anyone has looked at all of the mass loss from all of Earth’s glaciers and Read more…

Manhattan-sized Glaciers Break off at Both Ends of the Globe

February 6, 2012 Comments off

technorati.com

Following the recent report by MSNBC of a glacier break up in Greenland estimated at twice the size of Manhattan, the National Geographic now reported that another glacier in Antarctica, this time just about the size of Manhattan (is the size of Manhattan the rule of thumb when calculating glacier sizes?) is about to break off as well.

Experts relate that they are worried about the effects this may have on the rising sea level, but what about the collective effects ? Both sites are deemed responsible for possible changes to the ocean currents.

Take the North Atlantic for example, the gulf stream takes warm water from the tropics upstream towards the north, contributing to the warm climate in Europe. As the current hits Greenland it reaches fresh water which causes the salty water to sink and sends warm water back down towards the south.

The problem with glaciers breaking off and eventually melting is that it is reducing the salty warm water moving south, thus slowing down the entire flow. This flow reduction may cause Read more…

Giant Red Crab Invades Antarctic, Threatens Entire Ecosystem

September 15, 2011 1 comment

inquisitr

Red king crab

Red king crab, courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Wikimedia Commons

The Antarctic is being invaded by a species that threatens to destroy it’s eco-system, giant red crabs are invading the area, wiping out local wildlife and threatening a 14 million year-old system in the process.

News of the crabs quick appearance is unsettling for researchers who three years ago warned that king crabs would invade the area within 100 years.

Using a remotely operated submersible more than one million Neolithodes yaldwyni have already been discovered in Palmer Deep, some 3,000 to 4,500 feet below sea level.

Craig Smith of the University of Hawaii at Manoa tells the Washington Post:

“This is likely to alter sediment processes, such as the rate at Read more…

NASA: First Complete Map of Antarctic Ice Flow Helps Tracking Sea-level Rising

August 20, 2011 1 comment

ibtimes

In a bid to track future sea-level increases from climate change, researchers at NASA have come out with the first complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica.

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First complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica, derived from radar interferometric data. Credit. NASA/JPL

The map, which was created by using integrated radar observations from a grouping of international satellites, shows glaciers flowing thousands of miles from the continent’s deep interior to its shore.

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NASA-funded researchers at the University of California (UC), Irvine, used billions of high-resolution radar data points of the continent’s ice flows provided by European, Japanese and Canadian satellites between 2007 and 2009 to extract the clouds, solar glare and land features covering the glaciers.

The researcher’s team, with the help of NASA technology, carefully joined the shape and velocity of glacial formations. The map even includes Eastern Antarctica – an area that, while comprising Read more…

Categories: Antarctica Tags: , , ,

Japan tsunami broke huge icebergs off Antarctica

August 9, 2011 Comments off

thewatchers

The massive March 11 Japan earthquake and its ensuing tsunami were so powerful that they broke off huge icebergs thousands of miles away in Antarctica, according to a new study.

The calving of icebergs (where a huge chunk of ice breaks off from a glacier or ice shelf) from the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica was linked to the tsunami, which originated with the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of the Japanese island of Honshu, by satellite observations of the Antarctic coast immediately after the earthquake.

Icebergs have been reported to calve following earthquakes before, including after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, on Feb 22. But the new finding marks the first direct observation of such a connection between tsunamis and iceberg calving.

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Underwater Antarctic Volcano Chain Discovered In The Southern Ocean

July 12, 2011 Comments off

nanopatentsandinnovations

Scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have discovered previously unknown volcanoes in the ocean waters around the remote South Sandwich Islands. Using ship-borne sea-floor mapping technology during research cruises onboard the RRS James Clark Ross, the scientists found 12 volcanoes beneath the sea surface – some up to 3km high. They found 5km diameter craters left by collapsing volcanoes and 7 active volcanoes visible above the sea as a chain of islands.Sea-floor mapping technology reveals volcanoes beneath the sea surface Read more…