Tag Archives: glaciologist

Alpine Glacier, Unchanged for Thousands of Years, Now Melting

New ice cores suggest Alps have been strongly warming since 1980s

SAN FRANCISCO — Less than 20 miles from the site where melting ice exposed the 5,000-year-old body of Ötzi the Iceman, scientists have discovered new and compelling evidence that the Italian Alps are warming at an unprecedented rate.

Part of that evidence comes in the form of a single dried-out leaf from a larch tree that grew thousands of years ago. (more…)

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International Study Provides More Solid Measure of Shrinking in Polar Ice Sheets

The planet’s two largest ice sheets have been losing ice faster during the past decade, causing widespread confusion and concern. A new international study provides a firmer read on the state of continental ice sheets and how much they are contributing to sea-level rise.

Dozens of climate scientists have reconciled their measurements of ice sheet changes in Antarctica and Greenland during the past two decades. The results, published Nov. 29 in the journal Science, roughly halve the uncertainty and discard some conflicting observations.

“We are just beginning an observational record for ice,” said co-author Ian Joughin, a glaciologist in the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory who is lead author on an accompanying review article. “This creates a new long-term data set that will increase in importance as new measurements are made.” (more…)

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Increasing Speed of Greenland Glaciers Gives New Insight for Rising Sea Level

Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland’s contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century might be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible, a new study shows.

“So far, on average we’re seeing about a 30 percent speedup in 10 years,” said Twila Moon, a University of Washington doctoral student in Earth and space sciences and lead author of a paper documenting the observations published May 4 in Science. (more…)

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Greenland’s Glaciers Double in Speed

The contribution of Greenland to global sea level change and the mapping of previously unknown basins and mountains beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet are highlighted in a new film released by Cambridge University this morning.

The work of glaciologist Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute, is the focus of This Icy World, the latest film in the University’s Cambridge Ideas series. (more…)

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Whether Glaciers Float May Affect Sea-Level Rise

WASHINGTON — Glaciers that detach from the seafloor and begin floating create larger icebergs than glaciers that stay on the sea floor, researchers have found. Floating glaciers also produce icebergs more erratically.  

These new observations may help researchers better understand and predict iceberg production from glaciers and ice sheets, improving estimates of sea-level rise due to climate change.

(more…)

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