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Offline RE

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #135 on: January 27, 2019, 12:15:01 PM »
Who would have thought that we were so small and insignificant..."

ego universe
ego universe

What a GREAT straight man line!  Did you practice that? :icon_mrgreen:

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Offline AJ

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #136 on: January 27, 2019, 04:22:08 PM »
Who would have thought that we were so small and insignificant..."

ego universe
ego universe

What a GREAT straight man line!  Did you practice that? :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Well truly, don't almost all the GREAT religions put us at the center of the universe? The whole point of God's creation? :icon_mrgreen:
Wasn't the whole point of the Enlightenment to show us our real place in the universe with Darwin performing the coup d'etat?  Hence, the importance of understanding the immense size of the universe. BUT to flip this all on it's head (Enlightenment on it's head :icon_scratch:) I would say sentience is the most important achievement in the universe, hence we are the most important being in the universe while at the same time being insignificant. Maybe the universe is just an IRONY engine?  Pure Irony.
AJ
Nullis in Verba

Offline RE

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #137 on: January 27, 2019, 04:44:40 PM »

Well truly, don't almost all the GREAT religions put us at the center of the universe?

What makes a Religion "Great" ?  Many subscriptions to the religion? ???

I don't put myself at the "center of the universe", God did that.  I always see things through my eyes, hear them with my ears and feel them with my fingers (those don't work too good anymore)

I believe what I believe for one reason, it is my Occam's Razor.  To me, it makes CFS.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #138 on: February 06, 2019, 02:20:04 PM »
Methane bubbles rising and frozen in a northern lake
Lennart Pagel Photography





Video which I cannot embed here:

https://www.simplemost.com/this-mesmerizing-video-shows-frozen-methane-bubbles-trapped-beneath-a-lakes-surface/
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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🏔️ Global Warming’s Monster Awakens
« Reply #139 on: February 24, 2019, 02:00:03 AM »
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/22/global-warmings-monster-awakens/

February 22, 2019
Global Warming’s Monster Awakens
by Robert Hunziker


The planet’s biggest nightmare is coming to life. It may be a bigger threat much sooner than ever before realized simply because it’s accelerating!

East Antarctica, the world’s largest body of water trapped in ice, is knocking the socks off expectations. Along the way, it’s the world’s most horrifying surprise, yet nobody really knows how it will play out because the science is still in early stages.

Nevertheless, a formidable issue is at hand: Vincennes Bay in East Antarctica is home to humongous glaciers, like Totten Glacier (2,400 square miles), which is the largest glacier in the bay and equivalent to at least 11 feet of sea level rise alone, but it is only one of several glaciers in Vincennes Bay.

Recent NASA research indicates that four glaciers west of Totten Glacier in Vincennes Bay have receded by 9 feet since 2008. Heretofore, there was no measured change in these glaciers… period!

Surprisingly, within one decade there’s measurable loss of 9 feet after years and decades and centuries upon centuries of East Antarctica stability. This is disturbing and begs the question of what if the melting accelerates more, and more, and keeps on accelerating more than previous rates of acceleration. Then what?

According to NASA: “East Antarctica has the potential to reshape coastlines around the world through sea level rise, but scientists have long considered it more stable than its neighbor, West Antarctica. Now, new detailed NASA maps of ice velocity and elevation show that a group of glaciers spanning one-eighth of East Antarctica’s coast have begun to lose ice over the past decade, hinting at widespread changes in the ocean.” (Source: More Glaciers in East Antarctica Are Waking Up, NASA, Dec. 10, 2018).

Additionally, and in the opposite direction, or east of Totten Glacier, a “collection of glaciers” doubled their rate of ice loss since 2009. By all appearances, the past 10 years has served to alter East Antarctica into early stages of a meltdown phase. As previously mentioned, this is an unexpected event.

Meanwhile, for some time now at the opposite side of the continent, West Antarctica has been in the grip of rapid breakdown. In fact, Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is one of the fastest-flowing ice streams on the planet.

For example, Pine Island Glacier is dispensing icebergs into the Amundsen Sea from ice shelves with increasing frequency, which is troubling, to say the least. The most recent, Iceberg B-46 (87 sq. miles) split off in October 2018. Pine Island Glacier (equal to 1.7 feet of sea level rise) shed icebergs in 2001, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018.

Ice shelves are floating ice sheets that do not contribute much to rising sea levels since they are already mostly afloat, thus displacing their own weight. They extend out over the water from icy landmasses but significantly, as a matter of course, serve as a backstop or physical barrier of ice sheets, holding back rapid glacial ice flow into ocean waters.

Therefore, losing ice shelves out of the ordinary in rapid succession is obviously an ominous signal of trouble dead ahead, meaning glacial ice flow that directly impacts sea levels is freed-up, up and away.

Typically, in years past, West Antarctica shed an iceberg every six years whereas recent activity has shockingly compressed time over the past two decades to, respectively, once every 6 years, 4 years, 2 years, 2 years, 2 years, and most recently 1 year. That’s powerful evidence of a major change in ice sheet behavior.

For that reason, among others, scientists have always focused on West Antarctica’s instability rather than on East Antarctica. Now, in addition to serious concerns about the western region of the continent, surprise, surprise, after analyzing 40 years of data and satellite images, East Antarctica is no longer considered “immune to climate change.”

Not only that, but unfortunately this new data about East Antarctica is at odds with a significant 2018 study that showed less reason for concern and therefore, assuming this new information is thoroughly validated, “could dramatically reshape projections of sea level rise….” (Source: Alex Fox, East Antarctica’s Ice is Melting at an Unexpectedly Rapid Clip, New Study Suggests, Science, Jan. 14, 2019).

To say this news is disheartening is comparable to standing dockside at Berth 44, Southampton on April 10th 1912, waving goodbye to passengers on the Titanic.

East Antarctica destabilization, according to Eric Rignot, glaciologist, University of California/Irvine: “The more we look at this system the more we realize this is a fragile system… Once these glaciers are destabilized there is no red button to press to stop it,” Ibid.

Antarctica’s Ice Sheet is larger than the U.S. and India combined. Its three major ice sheets contain 70% of the planet’s fresh water in ice.

One catalyst behind ice sheet misbehavior is ocean absorption of 90% of anthropogenic global warming, which manages to flow underneath the massive ice sheets.

Additionally, global warming multiplies 2xs via “polar amplification,” meaning Antarctica’s surface temperatures increase twice as fast as the global average. This is a unique aspect of high latitude polar temperatures up north in the Arctic as well as down south in Antarctica.

Not only are temperatures magnified 2xs in high polar latitudes, but also in everyday contemporary life, global warming is striking hard, which does not bode well as to further magnification of polar temperatures.

For example, Australia sizzled like a blazing hot oven in late 2018 as temperatures exceeding 42°C (107°F). Roads melted, tens of thousands of bats dropped dead (many found on city streets) and hundreds of thousands of bony herring, golden and silver perch and Murray cod died, demonstrating the impact of erratic and excessive temperature variations.

Meantime, in similar fashion, due south of Australia, Antarctica’s ice sheets rumbled and tumbled, threatening inconvenience for coastal communities as a best-case scenario, but maybe (most probably) much worse.

As it happens, the world is changing right before humanities’ eyes. Nowadays, global warming is more than a threat of rising sea levels, which in and of itself looks grim, indeed, never so grim as of now, but it’s also turned into a vicious mass killer.

Still, the biggest questions of the 21st century remain unanswered: What can be done and who’ll take charge? After all, greenhouse gases are a fact of life not easily removed.

One answer: Build seawalls like Trump International Golf Links & Hotel – Ireland, which received a permit to build two seawalls in December 2017. Trump’s 2016 permit application cited “climate change, rising sea levels, and extreme weather conditions” as reasons for getting the permit.
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Offline Surly1

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Iceberg Twice the Size of NYC Set to Break from Antarctic Shelf
« Reply #140 on: February 27, 2019, 12:25:04 AM »
Iceberg Twice the Size of NYC Set to Break from Antarctic Shelf

  • Thinning in Antarctica’s ice shelves has caused the fracture to move progressively towards the Halloween crack, which currently sits just 3 miles away.

    Thinning in Antarctica’s ice shelves has caused the fracture to move progressively towards the Halloween crack, which currently sits just 3 miles away. | Photo: NASA

Published 26 February 2019 (6 hours 23 minutes ago)

n a few days or weeks an iceberg measuring around 1,700 sq km will break away from the Antarctic shelf.

An iceberg twice the size of New York City is set to break away from Antarctica’s Brunt Ice-Shelf, NASA scientists announced with the release of a series of satellite photos.

RELATED: 

Study: Climate Change Will Alter Ocean Color By 2100

Researchers speculate that in a few days or weeks an iceberg measuring around 1,700 square kilometers will break off and float away into the frigid waters.

A rift in the snowy structure has widened at a reliable rate of 2.5 miles per year for the last 35 years. However thinning in Antarctica’s ice shelves has caused the fracture to move progressively towards the Halloween crack, which currently sits just 3 miles away.

Researchers are unsure as to the impact the breakage will have on the Brunt Ice Shelf and surrounding environment. According to Christopher Shuman, a research scientist at NASA’s University of Maryland Baltimore County's Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology- by Antarctic standards- the iceberg is relatively small.

Dominic Hodgson, senior scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, told NBC News, that the worse it could do is lead to further decomposition of the Brunt Ice-Shelf or possibly damage other ice masses in the Antarctic.

“In recent decades the rate of ice loss has accelerated in many areas, and in some cases complete ice shelves have broken up. This has in most cases been linked to a combination of measured atmospheric and ocean warming in the region; melting the ice shelves from above and below,” Hodgson said.

Where some scientists are quick to blame climate change for the impending Brunt break, others are more hesitant to make the call. Glacier shelves have only been studied for a little over 100 years, so it’s difficult to say if the rate of “calving” in the region merits concern.

Helen Fricker, a glaciologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told NDTV, “"I don't think you can link one calving event to climate change," Fricker said. "That isn't to say Antarctica isn't undergoing rapid changes that are linked to climate change. But it's in another region of Antarctica."

"This is how Antarctica works," Fricker said. "Icebergs come and icebergs go."

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/04/08/glaciers-melting-ice-melts-due-global-warming-sea-levels-rise/3405569002/

Good-bye glaciers: 390 billion tons of snow and ice melts each year as globe warms
Doyle Rice, USA TODAY Published 8:26 p.m. ET April 8, 2019

Story Highlights

    Glaciers could almost disappear in some mountain ranges by the end of the century.
    Since 1961, the world has lost 10.6 trillion tons of ice and snow.


Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska (Photo: Getty Images)

Thanks to global warming, our planet's glaciers continue to melt away, losing up to 390 billion tons of ice and snow per year, a new study suggests.

The largest losses were glaciers in Alaska, followed by the melting ice fields in southern South America and glaciers in the Arctic.

"Over 30 years, suddenly almost all regions started losing mass at the same time," said study lead author Michael Zemp of the University of Zurich. "That's clearly climate change if you look at the global picture."

He said glaciers could almost disappear in some mountain ranges by the end of the century, including those in the U.S.

The world's seas have risen about an inch in the past 50 years just due to glacier melt alone, according to the study.

In fact, the current rate of contribution from glaciers to sea-level rise is about the same as that from the Greenland ice sheet and is more than the contribution from the Antarctic ice sheet.

More: Global warming predicted to melt massive Himalayan glaciers, disrupt food production

Since 1961, the world has lost 10.6 trillion tons of ice and snow, the study reported. Melted, that's enough to cover the lower 48 U.S. states in about 4 feet of water.

Man-made climate change, aka global warming, is caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil, which release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane into the atmosphere. This extra CO2 causes temperatures of the atmosphere and oceans to rise to levels that can't be explained by natural causes.

Monday's study, "is telling us there's much more to the story," said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, who wasn't part of the study. "The influence of glaciers on sea level is bigger than we thought."

The study, published Monday in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature, was the most comprehensive measurement of Earth's glaciers ever done.
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🏔️ Greenland Is Falling Apart
« Reply #142 on: April 24, 2019, 01:12:50 AM »
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/04/how-much-ice-has-greenland-lost-climate-change/587431/

Greenland Is Falling Apart

Since 1972, the giant island’s ice sheet has lost 11 quadrillion pounds of water.
Robinson Meyer
Apr 23, 2019


NASA researchers burn leftover wood on the Helheim Glacier, which is one of the fastest-moving ice floes in Greenland.Lucas Jackson / Reuters


The Greenland Ice Sheet is the world’s second-largest reservoir of fresh water sitting on the world’s largest island. It is almost mind-bogglingly huge.

If Greenland were suddenly transported to the central United States, it would be a very bad day for about 65 million people, who would be crushed instantly. But for the sake of science journalism, imagine that Greenland’s southernmost tip displaced Brownsville, Texas—the state’s southernmost city—so that its icy glaciers kissed mainland Mexico and the Gulf thereof. Even then, Greenland would stretch all the way north, clear across the United States, its northern tenth crossing the Canadian border into Ontario and Manitoba. Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Iowa City would all be goners. So too would San Antonio, Memphis, and Minneapolis. Its easternmost peaks would slam St. Louis and play in Peoria; its northwestern glaciers would rout Rapid City, South Dakota, and meander into Montana. At its center point, near Des Moines, roughly two miles of ice would rise from the surface.

Suffice it to say: The Greenland Ice Sheet, which contains enough water to refill the Great Lakes 115 times over, is very large. And it is also falling apart.

A new study finds that the Greenland Ice Sheet added a quarter inch of water to global sea levels in just the past eight years. The research, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, covers nearly 20 years previously not included in our detailed understanding of the troubled Greenland Ice Sheet. It finds that climate change has already bled trillions of tons of ice from the island reservoir, with more loss than expected coming from its unstable northern half.

“The glaciers are still being pushed out of balance,” Eric Rignot, a senior scientist at NASA and an author of the paper, told me. “Even though the ice sheet has [sometimes] been extremely cold and had low surface melt in the last year, the glaciers are still speeding up, and the ice sheet is still losing mass.”

The paper casts the transformation of the Greenland Ice Sheet as one of the profound geological shifts of our time. Scientists measure the mass of ice sheets in “gigatons”—each unit equal to 1 billion metric tons, or roughly the same amount of water that New York or Los Angeles uses in a year. Greenland, according to the study, has lost 4,976 gigatons of water since 1972. That’s enough water to fill 16 trillion bathtubs or 1.3 quadrillion gallon jugs. That much water weighs about 11 quadrillion pounds. (A quadrillion is 1 with 15 zeros after it.)

More worryingly, the paper finds that Greenland lost about half of that ice—roughly 2,200 gigatons—in the years between 2010 and 2018. The ice sheet has also failed to gain mass in any year since 1998.

This melting isn’t happening at a steady pace, in other words. Greenland’s demise seems to be accelerating. Think of Greenland as a huge inland ice sea, surrounded by faster-moving ice rivers (which are glaciers) that empty the sea and carry ice to the ocean. The paper finds that those rivers are speeding up, carrying ice out of the island’s core nearly twice as fast now as they did in the 1990s or 2000s.

Read: Ancient Rome’s collapse is written into Arctic ice

That’s an alarming result, because it means glaciers might now be shrinking Greenland from the bottom faster than hot weather can melt it from the top. And researchers believe that bottom-melting glaciers are less stable and more prone to rapid collapse. “If there’s a risk of rapid sea-level rise in the future, it will be associated with glaciers speeding up, and not anything happening at the surface,” Rignot said.

The paper’s findings are stirring in part because they go much further back in time. “A lot of the publications [about Greenland’s mass] start in 2000 or 2002, some go back to 1992, but this is the first time we go back another 20 years,” Rignot said. Historically, most studies of Greenland combine data from radar flybys, GPS beacons, and laser or gravity-sensing satellites. But there’s not enough data from before 1992 to be useful, so that’s when estimates usually stop.

Rignot and his colleagues helped hit upon a new resource. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat satellites have circled the planet nonstop since 1972, imaging every speck of land on Earth every 16 days. This archive—which is a kind of Earth-science version of taking a photo of yourself every day for years—includes hundreds of images of Greenland. Rignot and his team taught a computer how to read those pictures of its icy surface, zooming in especially on the dozens of glaciers that connect the interior ice sheet to the sea.

“It’s looking at two different pictures of a glacier, before and after. [In each frame,] the rocks don’t move but the glacier moves, so it can compare and cross-correlate image points,” Rignot said. “Then the algorithm searches around the window for where the pixel might have gone.”

Read: Studying Greenland’s ice to understand climate change

The team ultimately used this technique to calculate the speed of Greenland’s glaciers from 1972 to 1992. Then they combined that data with modern observations of the ice sheet to estimate its historical mass. (They used a similar method to estimate Antarctica’s ice loss in a paper published earlier this year.)

Rignot and his colleagues relied on another new resource too: OMG!

As in, literally, the project is named OMG, short for Oceans Melting Greenland. OMG is a five-year NASA mission, started in 2016, to study how warmer oceans are eroding Greenland’s waterfront glaciers. Rignot helps lead it. “Thanks to OMG, we’ve been able to construct a [bedrock] model of Greenland that is pretty good under the ice, and is very, very good underneath the ocean,” he said.

Brad Lipovsky, a glaciologist at Harvard who was not connected to the research, said in an email that the results “seem plausible at first glance,” but that scientists would need to carefully check some of the team’s methodology. The overall story of Greenland, he said, is that the ice sheet’s flow is slowly accelerating. This “makes sense,” he said, “because it takes the slowly flowing ice sheet a lot longer to respond than the rapidly evolving atmosphere.”

Rignot believes that the new study should make glaciologists look anew at the speed with which Greenland could collapse. The ice sheet’s bleeding-out could eventually raise global sea levels by as much as 25 feet. So the key question, Rignot said, is “How fast can you make these entities fall apart?” The answer will matter to all of us. The surface of Greenland doesn’t have to move through magic to other parts of the world—already, today, its deluge is on its way.
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Offline azozeo

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Greenland Is Falling Apart


The Greenland Ice Sheet is the world’s second-largest reservoir of fresh water sitting on the world’s largest island. It is almost mind-bogglingly huge.

If Greenland were suddenly transported to the central United States, it would be a very bad day for about 65 million people, who would be crushed instantly. But for the sake of science journalism, imagine that Greenland’s southernmost tip displaced Brownsville, Texas—the state’s southernmost city—so that its icy glaciers kissed mainland Mexico and the Gulf thereof. Even then, Greenland would stretch all the way north, clear across the United States, its northern tenth crossing the Canadian border into Ontario and Manitoba. Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Iowa City would all be goners. So too would San Antonio, Memphis, and Minneapolis. Its easternmost peaks would slam St. Louis and play in Peoria; its northwestern glaciers would rout Rapid City, South Dakota, and meander into Montana. At its center point, near Des Moines, roughly two miles of ice would rise from the surface.


https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/04/how-much-ice-has-greenland-lost-climate-change/587431/?utm_source=pocket-newtab
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https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/emperor-penguins-deaths-sea-ice-collapse-climate-change-antarctic-a8885641.html

Environment
World’s second largest emperor penguin colony ‘disappeared overnight’ with thousands of chicks wiped out

Thousands of chicks drowned after an ice shelf in Antarctica collapsed

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/tfOt9trxGhw" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/tfOt9trxGhw</a>

    Harry Cockburn
    1 day ago

Click to follow
The Independent

The world’s second largest emperor penguin colony is believed to have been effectively wiped out overnight, with thousands of chicks drowning after an ice shelf in Antarctica collapsed.

Since the catastrophic collapse of the ice sheet at Halley Bay in 2016, no breeding has been detected in the area, scientists say.

Usually 15,000 to 24,000 breeding pairs of emperor penguins flock each year to the breeding site – around 5-9 per cent of the entire global emperor penguin population.

The bay in the Weddell Sea was previously considered a refuge for penguins in one of the coldest parts of the continent, and was expected to remain suitable for penguins this century despite climate change affecting Antarctic sea ice.

Yet almost no emperor penguins have been there since, according to a team from the British Antarctic Survey, who used high-resolution satellite photographs of the birds’ guano over time, to reveal the findings.
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“We haven’t seen a breeding failure on a scale like this in 60 years,” says one of the study’s authors Phil Trathan, who is head of conservation biology at the British Antarctic Survey.

Emperor penguins need stable sea ice on which to breed, and this icy platform must last from April, when the birds arrive, until December, when their chicks fledge.

They are the largest penguin species, weighing up to 40kg and living for roughly 20 years. They incubate their eggs and tend to their chicks – one per pair – on the sea ice. After breeding and tending to the chicks, they move to the open sea.
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For the last 60 years, the sea ice conditions in the Halley Bay site have been stable and reliable. But in 2016, after a period of abnormally stormy weather, the ice broke up in October, well before any emperor chicks would have fledged.

The impact and subsequent state of the ice means the colony has been almost entirely wiped out.
Read more

    Penguins stolen from zoo discovered two months later
    Humans ‘to blame for penguins stranded on South American coast’
    David Attenborough ‘would have stepped up to rescue penguins too’
    World’s largest king penguin colony collapses by 90%

While the Halley Bay colony has now all but disappeared, the nearby Dawson-Lambton colony has markedly increased in size, indicating that many of the adult emperors have moved there, seeking better breeding grounds as environmental conditions continue to change.

The birds’ rapid relocation to a more stable breeding ground is significant and is encouraging, the scientists say, as until now it was not known whether the penguins would seek alternative sites in response to significant changes in their local environment.

But the rise in numbers at Dawson-Lambton does not account for all the numbers lost at Halley Bay, Dr Trathan says. “Not everybody has gone to Dawson-Lambton yet,” he says.

Lead author and BAS remote sensing specialist, Dr Peter Fretwell, says: “We have been tracking the population of this, and other colonies in the region, for the last decade using very high resolution satellite imagery.

“These images have clearly shown the catastrophic breeding failure at this site over the last three years. Our specialised satellite image analysis can detect individuals and penguin huddles, so we can estimate the population based on the known density of the groups to give reliable estimate of colony size.”

Dr Trathan says: “It is impossible to say whether the changes in sea-ice conditions at Halley Bay are specifically related to climate change, but such a complete failure to breed successfully is unprecedented at this site.

“Even taking into account levels of ecological uncertainty, published models suggest that emperor penguins numbers are set to fall dramatically, losing 50-70 per cent of their numbers before the end of this century as sea-ice conditions change as a result of climate change.”

The team’s findings are published in the journal Antarctic Science.
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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #145 on: May 14, 2019, 02:51:46 PM »
What a Stellar  :icon_sunny: EXCUSE to spray us like bugs....


https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1125977/climate-change-refreeze-arctic-global-warming-extinction-rebellion-environment-cambridge
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You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

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🏔️ Jakobshavn Isbrae: Mighty Greenland glacier slams on brakes
« Reply #146 on: May 15, 2019, 12:00:10 AM »
Another "unexpected" development!  ::)

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https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48265217

Jakobshavn Isbrae: Mighty Greenland glacier slams on brakes
By Jonathan Amos BBC Science Correspondent


Image copyright Copernicus Sentinel data (2019)/Esa
Image caption Jakobshavn in April this year: The glacier is an important drainage outlet for the Greenland Ice Sheet

European satellites have detailed the abrupt change in behaviour of one of Greenland's most important glaciers.

In the 2000s, Jakobshavn Isbrae was the fastest flowing ice stream on the island, travelling at 17km a year.

As it sped to the ocean, its front end also retreated and thinned, dropping in height by as much as 20m year.

But now it's all change. Jakobshavn is travelling much more slowly, and its trunk has even begun to thicken and lengthen.

"It's a complete reversal in behaviour and it wasn't predicted," said Dr Anna Hogg from Leeds University and the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM).

"The question now is: what's next for Jakobshavn? Is this just a pause, or is it a switch-off of the dynamic thinning we've seen previously?"

    Greenland ice hides huge 'impact crater'
    How Greenland scorched its underside
    How Greenland would look without its ice

Image copyright CPOM–A. E. Hogg
Image caption Change in height: There was a marked change after 2013

The glacier is sited in southwest Greenland. It's famous for its spectacular production of icebergs - colossal blocks calve from its terminus and drift down its fjord, out into Disko Bay and onwards to the North Atlantic.

More than likely, it was Jakobshavn that spawned the iceberg that sank the Titanic.
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Scientists' interest in the glacier lies in its role as a drainage outlet for the Greenland Ice Sheet. It's a key channel for the export of ice that can then raise global sea levels.
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The rapid flow, thinning and retreat of Jakobshavn's front end in the mid to late 2000s were probably driven by warm ocean water from Disko Bay getting into the fjord and attacking the glacier from below.

The phase change, scientists think, may be related to very cold weather in 2013. This would have resulted in less meltwater coming off the glacier, which in turn might have choked the mechanism that pulls warm ocean water towards Jakobshavn.

"Fjord overturning, the circulation that draws warm ocean water in from Disko Bay to melt the glacier at its base is, in part, forced by surface melting on the Greenland Ice Sheet. If you don't get a lot of fresh, cold meltwater going into the fjord, this circulation is weaker," said Dr Hogg.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Large numbers of icebergs head out of the fjord into Disko Bay and on to the Atlantic

The Leeds researcher has been using a suite of European satellites to monitor Jakobshavn, including the EU's Sentinels 1 and 2 and the German national TerraSAR-X mission.

Another useful tool has been the radar altimeter on the European Space Agency's Cryosat platform.

This has a very high-resolution "swath" mode that has allowed Dr Hogg to track elevation changes on the glacier's narrow trunk.

Where previously this was dropping in height by 20m a year, it's now thickening by 20m a year.

"All this is a reminder of how unpredictable glaciers can be," she told BBC News. "We didn't predict this change in behaviour, and if Jakobshavn does start thinning and retreating again - we can't predict when that will happen.

"The rate of sea-level contribution from Greenland has slowed in recent years and it's because some of the biggest ice evacuators like Jakobshavn aren't contributing as much as they used to."

Dr Hogg was speaking here at the Esa's Living Planet Symposium, Europe's largest Earth observation conference.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 12:03:27 AM by RE »
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Scientists say Chile's Southern Patagonia Ice Field has 'split in two'
« Reply #147 on: May 24, 2019, 06:21:33 AM »
Scientists say Chile's Southern Patagonia Ice Field has 'split in two'

Crack raises concern it's a sign of things to come



A shot of bare rock separating previously connected ice sheets of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field in Chile. (Directorate-General of Water/Chilean Public Works Ministry)

Chile's 12,000-square kilometre Southern Patagonia Ice Field has split in two and is likely to continue to fracture amid climate change, according to a team of Chilean scientists who were in the region in March.

Gino Casassa, chief of the Snow and Glacier Division of Chile's DGA water authority, told Reuters increasing temperatures along the Andes Mountains in southern Chile and Argentina have meant less snow and ice to replenish the region's abundant glaciers.

"What occurred is a fracture as the ice has retreated, Casassa said.

The chunk of ice that split off from the main glacier was estimated at 208 square kilometres, a relatively small part of the ice field.

But Casassa said it may be a sign of things to come.

Scientists who were in the region in March fear the crack is a sign of things to come. (Directorate-General of Water/Chilean Public Works Ministry)

The ice field, he said, is now "split in two, and we'll likely discover further divisions to the south," he said.

Two icebergs broke off the Grey Glacier in southern Chile's Torres del Paine National Park earlier this year, adding to fears that such ruptures are becoming more frequent.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Previously thought stable permafrost terrain high in Arctic is melting
« Reply #148 on: May 24, 2019, 06:53:21 AM »
Previously thought stable permafrost terrain high in Arctic is melting due to increased summer temperatures


Due to record summer temperatures in recent years, high Arctic polar terrain is changing. Credit: Melissa Ward Jones

Rapid changes in terrain are taking place in Canada's high Arctic polar deserts due to increases in summer air temperatures.

A McGill-led study published recently in Environmental Research Letters presents close to 30 years of aerial surveys and extensive ground mapping of the Eureka Sound Lowlands area of Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands located at approximately 80 °N. The research focuses on a particular landform (known as a retrogressive thaw slump) that develops as the ice within the melts and the land slips down in a horseshoe-shaped feature. The presence of these landforms is well documented in the low Arctic. But due to the extremely in high Arctic polar deserts (where average annual ground and air temperatures are -16.5 °C/2.3 °F, and -19.7 °C /-3.46 °F, respectively), and the fact that the permafrost is over 500 metres (or about 1/3 of a mile) thick, it had been assumed this landscape was stable. But the McGill-led research team found that this has not been the case.

"Our study suggests that the warming climate in the high Arctic, and more specifically the increases in summer air temperatures that we have seen in recent years, are initiating widespread changes in the landscape," says Melissa Ward Jones, the study's lead author and a Ph.D. candidate in McGill's Department of Geography.

Widespread permafrost degradation seen in high Arctic terrain

The research team noted that:

  • There has been a widespread development of retrogressive thaw slumps in high Arctic polar deserts over a short period, particularly during the unusually of 2011, 2012 and 2015;
  • That the absence of vegetation and layers of organic soil in these polar deserts make permafrost in the area particularly vulnerable to increases in summer air temperatures;
  • Despite its relatively short duration, the thaw season (which lasts for just 3-6 weeks a year) initially drives the development of slumps and their later expansion in size, as their headwall retreats; and
  • Over a period of a few years after the initiation of slumps, study results suggest various factors related to terrain (e.g. slope) become more important than air in maintaining active slumps.
In recent years, high summer temperatures have started melting the ice in the permafrost. As a result, land forms are changing unexpectedly. Credit: McGill University

"Despite the cold polar conditions that characterize much of the high Arctic, this research clearly demonstrates the complex nature of ice-rich permafrost systems and climate-permafrost interaction," adds Wayne Pollard, a professor in McGill's Department of Geography and co-author on the study. "Furthermore, it raises concerns about the over simplification of some studies that generalize about the links between global warming and permafrost degradation."

More information: Melissa K Ward Jones et al, Rapid initialization of retrogressive thaw slumps in the Canadian high Arctic and their response to climate and terrain factors, Environmental Research Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab12fd

Journal information:Environmental Research Letters

Provided byMcGill University

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/14/us/greenland-sudden-ice-melt-wxc/index.html

Greenland lost 2 billion tons of ice yesterday, which is very unusual


By Brandon Miller, CNN Meteorologist

Updated 4:49 PM ET, Fri June 14, 2019
Undeniable climate change facts


(CNN)Over 40% of Greenland experienced melting yesterday, with total ice loss estimated to be more than 2 gigatons (a gigaton is equal to 1 billion tons).
While Greenland is a big island filled with lots of ice, it is highly unusual for that much ice to be lost in the middle of June. The average "melt season" for Greenland runs from June to August, with the bulk of the melting occurring in July.
To visualize how much ice that is, imagine filling the National Mall in Washington DC with enough ice to reach a point in the sky eight times higher than the Washington Monument (to borrow an analogy Meredith Nettles from Columbia University gave to the Washington Post.)
The sudden spike in melting "is unusual, but not unprecedented," according to Thomas Mote, a research scientist at the University of Georgia who studies Greenland's climate.

"It is comparable to some spikes we saw in June of 2012," Mote told CNN, referring to the record-setting melt year of 2012 that saw almost the entire ice sheet experience melting for the first time in recorded history.
This much melting this early in the summer could be a bad sign, indicating 2019 could once again set records for the amount of Greenland ice loss.
Mote explained how snow and ice melt off the Greenland ice sheet, especially early in the season, makes it easier to for additional melt to occur later in the summer.
White snow and ice, which is bright and reflects the sun's rays back into space, reduces the amount of heat that is absorbed and helps to keep the ice sheet cold (a process known as "albedo").
"These melt events events result in a changed surface albedo," according to Mote, which will allow more of the mid-summer sun's heat to be absorbed into the ice and melt it.
Predictions for a record melt season
According to Mote "all signs seem to be pointing to a large melt season," and he is far from the only scientist to think so.
Jason Box, an ice climatologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, predicted in late May that "2019 will be a big melt year for Greenland."
Box pointed out that this year had unusually early season melt days in April, and the melt season was "happening about three weeks earlier than average, and earlier than the record-setting melt year of 2012."
In addition to the early season melt, the snow cover is already lower than average in Western Greenland, and combining these factors "mean that 2019 is likely going to be a very big melt year, and even the potential to exceed the record melt year of 2012."
What is causing the sudden melt?
A persistent weather pattern has been setting the stage for the current spike in melting, according to Mote.
"We've had a blocking ridge that has been anchored over East Greenland throughout much of the spring, which led to some melting activity in April -- and that pattern has persisted."
That high pressure ridge pulls up warm, humid air from the Central Atlantic into portions of Greenland which leads to warmer temperatures over the ice. The high pressure also prevents precipitation from forming and leads to clear, sunny skies.
Over the past week or two, that high pressure ridge got even stronger as another high pressure front moved in from the eastern U.S. (the one that caused the prolonged hot and dry period in the Southeast earlier this month).
Melt periods like the current one are not unprecedented; Mote noted previous ones in 2012 as well as 2007 and 2010 (all major melt years). But he pointed out that until recently, they were unheard of.
"We've seen a sequence of these large melt seasons, starting in 2007, that would have been unprecedented earlier in the record," and according to Mote "we didn't see anything like this prior to the late 1990's."

If these extreme melt seasons are becoming the new normal, it could have significant ramifications around the globe, especially for sea level rise.
"Greenland has been an increasing contributor to global sea level rise over the past two decades," Mote said, "and surface melting and runoff is a large portion of that."
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