Tag Archives: greenland

Ancient Cold Period Could Provide Clues About Future Climate Change

AUSTIN, Texas — Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that a well-known period of abrupt climate change 12,000 years ago occurred rapidly in northern latitudes but much more gradually in equatorial regions, a discovery that could prove important for understanding and responding to future climate change. (more…)

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Greenland melting due equally to global warming, natural variations

The rapid melting of Greenland glaciers is captured in the documentary “Chasing Ice.” The retreat of the ice edge from one year to the next sends more water into the sea.

Now University of Washington atmospheric scientists have estimated that up to half of the recent warming in Greenland and surrounding areas may be due to climate variations that originate in the tropical Pacific and are not connected with the overall warming of the planet. Still, at least half the warming remains attributable to global warming caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions. The paper is published May 8 in Nature. (more…)

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NASA Releases Earth Day ‘Global Selfie’ Mosaic

For Earth Day this year, NASA invited people around the world to step outside to take a “selfie” and share it with the world on social media. NASA released Thursday a new view of our home planet created entirely from those photos.

The “Global Selfie” mosaic was built using more than 36,000 individual photographs drawn from the more than 50,000 images tagged #GlobalSelfie and posted on or around Earth Day, April 22, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr. The project was designed to encourage environmental awareness and recognize the agency’s ongoing work to protect our home planet. (more…)

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A Look Back and Ahead at Greenland’s Changing Climate

Over the past two decades, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased four-fold contributing to one-quarter of global sea level rise. However, the chain of events and physical processes that contributed to it has remained elusive. One likely trigger for the speed up and retreat of glaciers that contributed to this ice loss is ocean warming.

A review paper by physical oceanographers Fiamma Straneo at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Patrick Heimbach at MIT published in Nature explains what scientists have learned from their research on and around Greenland over the past 20 years and describes the measurements and technology needed to continue to move the science forward. (more…)

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MU Scientist Finds Late Cretaceous Period Was Likely Ice-free

Study results could foreshadow earth’s future climate, MU researcher says

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For years, scientists have thought that a continental ice sheet formed during the Late Cretaceous Period more than 90 million years ago when the climate was much warmer than it is today. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found evidence suggesting that no ice sheet formed at this time. This finding could help environmentalists and scientists predict what the earth’s climate will be as carbon dioxide levels continue to rise.

“Currently, carbon dioxide levels are just above 400 parts per million (ppm), up approximately 120 ppm in the last 150 years and rising about 2 ppm each year,” said Ken MacLeod, a professor of geological sciences at MU. “In our study, we found that during the Late Cretaceous Period, when carbon dioxide levels were around 1,000 ppm, there were no continental ice sheets on earth. So, if carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, the earth will be ice-free once the climate comes into balance with the higher levels.” (more…)

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Giant ice island shatters

Ice island reported by UD researcher breaks into mammoth ‘ice cubes’

The giant ice island that broke off Greenland’s Petermann Glacier in July 2012 has plowed into the ocean floor and shattered into a couple of mammoth “ice cubes” sitting in the ocean, according to the University of Delaware researcher who reported the initial glacial event last year.

Andreas Muenchow, an associate professor in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, said the ice chunk twice the size of Manhattan that snapped off the glacier in July 2012 ground into the ocean floor and has split into at least two ice islands and a number of large icebergs. (more…)

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Sea level rise: New iceberg theory points to areas at risk of rapid disintegration

ANN ARBOR — In events that could exacerbate sea level rise over the coming decades, stretches of ice on the coasts of Antarctica and Greenland are at risk of rapidly cracking apart and falling into the ocean, according to new iceberg calving simulations from the University of Michigan.

“If this starts to happen and we’re right, we might be closer to the higher end of sea level rise estimates for the next 100 years,” said Jeremy Bassis, assistant professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences at the U-M College of Engineering, and first author of a paper on the new model published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience. (more…)

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