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Posts Tagged ‘Ice’

Arctic sea ice extent continues to melt below former record lows: data center

September 6, 2012 Comments off

nunatsiaqonline

Every year there's less of the multi-year, blue-tinged sea ice, like this ice seen in the Northwest Passage, in the Arctic. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
Every year there’s less of the multi-year, blue-tinged sea ice, like this ice seen in the Northwest Passage, in the Arctic. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
Arctic sea ice extent for August 2012 was 4.72 million sq. km.The magenta line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that month. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. (IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NSIDC)

Following the new record low Arctic sea ice extent recorded Aug. 26, ice coverage has continued to drop and has now shrunk to less than four million square kilometres — smaller than the previous low extent of 2007.

Compared to September conditions in the 1980s and 1990s, the Arctic sea ice extent has dropped by 45 per cent, the Colorado-based National Snow and Ice Data Center said Sept. 5.

And that skimpy sea ice cover is likely to get lower yet, because Read more…

Greenland ice sheet may melt completely with 1.6 degrees global warming

March 12, 2012 Comments off

esciencenews

Greenland ice sheetPhoto: christine zenino/Flickr

The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought. The temperature threshold for melting the ice sheet completely is in the range of 0.8 to 3.2 degrees Celsius of global warming, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels, shows a new study by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Today, already 0.8 degrees of global warming has been observed. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea-level rise of several meters and therefore it potentially affects the lives of many millions of people. The time it takes before Read more…

Oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing

March 1, 2012 1 comment

earth-issues.com

Oldest Arctic Sea Ice is Disappearing

acquired November 1, 2011 – January 31, 2012download large image (1 MB, JPEG, 3840×2160)

A new study by NASA scientist Joey Comiso has found that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the ice cap. The rapid disappearance of older ice makes the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cap more vulnerable to further decline.

Arctic multi-year ice “extent”—which includes all areas where at least 15 percent of the ocean surface is covered by multi-year ice—has been vanishing at a rate of –15.1 percent per decade, Comiso found. Over the same period, the “area” covered by multi-year ice—which discards open water among ice floes and focuses exclusively on regions that are completely covered—has been shrinking by –17.2 percent per decade. The findings were 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…

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Massive ice island drifts toward Canada

July 23, 2011 1 comment

msn

A Manhattan-sized chunk of ice that broke off a glacier in Greenland nearly a year ago is drifting toward the coast of Newfoundland, Canada — providing a stunning sight to scientists and curiosity-seekers but also posing a potential threat to ships.

The ice island is 20 square miles — roughly 6.2 miles long and 3.1 miles wide. It was formed when a 97-square-mile chunk of ice broke off Greenland’s Petermann Glacier on Aug. 5, 2010, possibly due to warming of the Atlantic Ocean.

The ice island, the largest single chunk remaining from the massive parent chunk, has been winding its way through Arctic waters ever since.

In the past few days, it has been moving south at a rate of 5 to 6 miles per hour. On Thursday, it was about 11.5 miles off the Labrador coast, drifting toward Newfoundland, said Lionel Hache, senior ice forecaster with Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa. The Ice Service, a department of Environment Canada, has been tracking the movement of the ice island.

Hache said it was hard to project what course the ice island would take because it was following the water current. “The general direction is south but not in a straight line,” he said. “You have different branches of the current. One of the branches could bring it toward shore, other Read more…

2011: Headed for Record Arctic Melt?

July 21, 2011 Comments off

ouramazingplanet

arctic-sea-ice-satellite-110720.jpgJuly 11, 2011: Arctic sea ice, seen by satellite. Credit: NASA.

This year could be well on its way toward earning a dubious spot in the record books.

Arctic sea ice has melted away with astonishing speed in the first half of July, at an average rate of about 46,000 square miles (120,000 square kilometers) per day, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo.

That’s equivalent to an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania melting into the sea every 24 hours.

“That’s relatively fast,” said Julienne Stroeve, a research scientist at the NSIDC.

Already, sea ice extent — how far ice extends across the ocean — this year is below the extent for the same time in 2007, a year which, in September, saw the lowest sea ice coverage ever recorded.

As of July 17 this year, sea ice covered 2.92 million square miles (7.56 million square kilometers) of the frigid Arctic Ocean. That may sound like a lot, but it’s 865,000 square miles (2.24 million square kilometers) below the 1979 to 2000 average.

However, Stroeve said, much of what Read more…

2010 – 2011: Earth’s most extreme weather since 1816?

June 28, 2011 Comments off

wunderground

Every year extraordinary weather events rock the Earth. Records that have stood centuries are broken. Great floods, droughts, and storms affect millions of people, and truly exceptional weather events unprecedented in human history may occur. But the wild roller-coaster ride of incredible weather events during 2010, in my mind, makes that year the planet’s most extraordinary year for extreme weather since reliable global upper-air data began in the late 1940s. Never in my 30 years as a meteorologist have I witnessed a year like 2010–the astonishing number of weather disasters and unprecedented wild swings in Earth’s atmospheric circulation were like nothing I’ve seen. The pace of incredible extreme weather events in the U.S. over the past few months have kept me so busy that I’ve been unable to write-up a retrospective look at the weather events of 2010. But I’ve finally managed to finish, so fasten Read more…