Archive for Ice

OMG: Is the Ocean Melting the Ice?

Posted in 2016 with tags , , , , on April 6, 2016 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

greenland_omg_2016

At 1.7 million square kilometers (660,000 square miles), the Greenland ice sheet is three times the size of Texas. On average, the ice is about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) deep and contains enough water to raise global sea levels about 6 meters (20 feet) if it were all to melt.

Global sea level rise is one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st Century, and Greenland is central to the problem. That massive ice sheet touches the sea along more than 44,000 kilometers (27,000 miles) of jagged coastline. Hundreds of fjords, inlets, and bays bring ocean water right to the edge of the ice and, in some places, under it. This means the ice sheet is not just melting from warm air temperatures above; it is also likely being melted from water below.

To be Continues on

http://m.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=87813

Antarctic Ice Shelf On Brink Of Unstoppable Melt That Could Raise Sea Levels For 10,000 Years

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , on May 5, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

Ice calving from the Petzval Glacier in Paradise Bay in Antarcti

 

OSLO, May 4 (Reuters) – Part of East Antarctica is more vulnerable than expected to a thaw that could trigger an unstoppable slide of ice into the ocean and raise world sea levels for thousands of years, a study showed on Sunday.

The Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica, stretching more than 1,000 km (600 miles) inland, has enough ice to raise sea levels by 3 to 4 metres (10-13 feet) if it were to melt as an effect of global warming, the report said.

The Wilkes is vulnerable because it is held in place by a small rim of ice, resting on bedrock below sea level by the coast of the frozen continent. That “ice plug” might melt away in coming centuries if ocean waters warm up.

“East Antarctica’s Wilkes Basin is like a bottle on a slant. Once uncorked, it empties out,” Matthias Mengel of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, lead author of the study in the journal Nature Climate Change, said in a statement.

Co-author Anders Levermann, also at Potsdam in Germany, told Reuters the main finding was that the ice flow would be irreversible, if set in motion. He said there was still time to limit warming to levels to keep the ice plug in place.

Almost 200 governments have promised to work out a U.N. deal by the end of 2015 to curb increasing emissions of man-made greenhouse gases that a U.N. panel says will cause more droughts, heatwaves, downpours and rising sea levels.

Worries about rising seas that could swamp low-lying areas from Shanghai to Florida focus most on ice in Greenland and West Antarctica, as well as far smaller amounts of ice in mountain ranges from the Himalayas to the Andes.

Sunday’s study is among the first to gauge risks in East Antarctica, the biggest wedge of the continent and usually considered stable. “I would not be surprised if this (basin) is more vulnerable than West Antarctica,” Levermann said.

TO BE CONTINUED ON THEIR WEBSITE

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/05/antarctic-ice-melt_n_5263660.html?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

Cosmic Journeys : Earth in 1000 Years

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

This edition of COSMIC JOURNEYS explores the still unfolding story of Earth’s past and the light it sheds on the science of climate change today. While that story can tell us about the mechanisms that can shape our climate. it’s still the unique conditions of our time that will determine sea levels, ice coverage, and temperatures.

Ice, in its varied forms, covers as much as 16% of Earth’s surface, including 33% of land areas at the height of the northern winter. Glaciers, sea ice, permafrost, ice sheets and snow play an important role in Earth’s climate. They reflect energy back to space, shape ocean currents, and spawn weather patterns. 

But there are signs that Earth’s great stores of ice are beginning to melt. To find out where Earth might be headed, scientists are drilling down into the ice, and scouring ancient sea beds, for evidence of past climate change. What are they learning about the fate of our planet… a thousand years into the future and even beyond?

30,000 years ago, Earth began a relentless descent into winter. Glaciers pushed into what were temperate zones. Ice spread beyond polar seas. New layers of ice accumulated on the vast frozen plateau of Greenland. At three kilometers thick, Greenland’s ice sheet is a monumental formation built over successive ice ages and millions of years. It’s so heavy that it has pushed much of the island down below sea level. And yet, today, scientists have begun to wonder how resilient this ice sheet really is.

Average global temperatures have risen about one degree Celsius since the industrial revolution. They could go up another degree by the end of this century. If Greenland’s ice sheet were to melt, sea levels would rise by over seven meters. That would destroy or threaten the homes and livelihoods of up to a quarter of the world’s population.

With so much at stake, scientists are monitoring Earth’s frozen zones… with satellites, radar flights, and expeditions to drill deep into ice sheets. And they are reconstructing past climates, looking for clues to where Earth might now be headed… not just centuries, but thousands of years in the future.

Periods of melting and freezing, it turns out, are central events in our planet’s history.
That’s been born out by evidence ranging from geological traces of past sea levels… the distribution of fossils… chemical traces that correspond to ocean temperatures, and more. 

Going back over two billion years, earth has experienced five major glacial or ice ages. The first, called the Huronian, has been linked to the rise of photosynthesis in primitive organisms. They began to take in carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas. That decreased the amount of solar energy trapped by the atmosphere, sending Earth into a deep freeze. 

The second major ice age began 580 million years ago. It was so severe, it’s often referred to as “snowball earth.” The Andean-Saharan and the Karoo ice ages began 460 and 360 million years ago. Finally, there’s the Quaternary… from 2.6 million years ago to the present. Periods of cooling and warming have been spurred by a range of interlocking factors: the movement of continents, patterns of ocean circulation, volcanic events, the evolution of plants and animals.

The world as we know it was beginning to take shape in the period from 90 to 50 million years ago. The continents were moving toward their present positions. The Americas separated from Europe and Africa. India headed toward a merger with Asia. The world was getting warmer. Temperatures spiked roughly 55 million years ago, going up about 5 degrees Celsius in just a few thousand years. CO2 levels rose to about 1000 parts per million compared to 280 in pre-industrial times, and 390 today. 

But the stage was set for a major cool down. The configuration of landmasses had cut the Arctic off from the wider oceans. That allowed a layer of fresh water to settle over it, and a sea plant called Azolla to spread widely. In a year, it can soak up as much as 6 tons of CO2 per acre. Plowing into Asia, the Indian subcontinent caused the mighty Himalayan Mountains to rise up. In a process called weathering, rainfall interacting with exposed rock began to draw more CO2 from the atmosphere… washing it into the sea. Temperatures steadily dropped. 

By around 33 million years ago, South America had separated from Antarctica. Currents swirling around the continent isolated it from warm waters to the north. An ice sheet formed. In time, with temperatures and CO2 levels continuing to fall, the door was open for a more subtle climate driver. It was first described by the 19th century Serbian scientist, Milutin Milankovic. 

He saw that periodic variations in Earth’s rotational motion altered the amount of solar radiation striking the poles. In combination, every 100,000 years or so, these variations have sent earth into a period of cool temperatures and spreading ice.

 

An Iceberg, the Size of Singapore, Just Broke Off in Antarctica

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

A massive chunk of ice, estimated at 22 miles by 12 miles, has broken off of the continent of Antarctica.The Singapore-sized chunk of ice broke off from Pine Island Glacier in Western Antarctica. With the earth the hottest it’s been in 11,000 years, it’s not surprising that glaciers are melting around the world.NASA has been monitoring a crack which developed in October 2011. Now, just over two years on, the block of ice has broken free and started drifting out to the Southern Ocean.

The iceberg is estimated to be 35 kilometres by 20 kilometres.

Cosmic Journeys : Earth in 1000 Years

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

This edition of COSMIC JOURNEYS explores the still unfolding story of Earth’s past and the light it sheds on the science of climate change today. While that story can tell us about the mechanisms that can shape our climate. it’s still the unique conditions of our time that will determine sea levels, ice coverage, and temperatures.

Ice, in its varied forms, covers as much as 16% of Earth’s surface, including 33% of land areas at the height of the northern winter. Glaciers, sea ice, permafrost, ice sheets and snow play an important role in Earth’s climate. They reflect energy back to space, shape ocean currents, and spawn weather patterns.

But there are signs that Earth’s great stores of ice are beginning to melt. To find out where Earth might be headed, scientists are drilling down into the ice, and scouring ancient sea beds, for evidence of past climate change. What are they learning about the fate of our planet… a thousand years into the future and even beyond?

No, Arctic Sea Ice Has Not Recovered, Scientists Say

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

9_19_13_andrew_seaicelossnortheast

Arctic sea ice loss during the 2013 melt season was equivalent to losing the entire area of states from Tennessee to Maine. Credit: Climate Central.

From Climate Central’s Andrew Freedman:

Arctic sea ice extent has likely reached its seasonal minimum, dropping to the sixth-lowest level in the 35-year satellite record. This year’s melt represents a significant gain in sea ice extent from last year — when the ice cover plummeted to a record low — but scientists cautioned that long-term trends are what is most important, with most projections still showing a seasonally ice free Arctic Ocean by the middle of the century, if not sooner. In addition, measurements of sea ice volume are at near-record low levels, indicating that the ice cover is unusually thin and vulnerable.

TO BE CONTINUED ON THE WEBSITE

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/20/arctic-sea-ice_n_3957165.html?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

This time series, based on satellite data, sho...

This time series, based on satellite data, shows the annual Arctic sea ice minimum since 1979. The September 2010 extent was the third lowest in the satellite record. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Race against the tide, risking death under huge blocks of ice – Human Planet: Arctic – BBC One

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , on August 14, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

http://www.bbc.co.uk/humanplanet

The people of Kangiqsujuaq in Canada go to great lengths to add variety to their diet of seal meat, venturing under the sea ice during the extreme low tides of the spring equinox to gather mussels.

It’s a race against time. They have less than half an hour to search these temporary caverns before the tide rushes back in. A look-out keeps watch for the returning tide, but warning shouts can’t be too loud in case the echoes bring down the ice.

March 11th 2011 : Today’s tsunami consequence of the Japan Earthquakes : This is what climate change looks like

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2011 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI


Nasa Observatory : Earthquake Shakes Ice from New Zealand Glacier

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2011 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

Polar Bear Swims For 9 Days Before Finding Ice posted by: Beth Buczynski

Posted in animals with tags , , , on January 26, 2011 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

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