Tag Archives: Iceland

Killing Whales by Design and Default

While countries such as Japan, Norway, and Iceland often are criticized for their commercial whaling practices, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine biologist Michael Moore points out how the majority of nations are also complicit in killing whales by deploying commercial fishing gear.

Moore cites scientific literature, necropsy reports, and individual case studies in an editorial essay addressing the ethics of whale entanglement and commercial whaling published in ICES Journal of Marine Science. (more…)

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Surveying Ice and Fire: The First Map of All of Iceland’s Glaciers and Subglacier Volcanic Calderas Released

For the first time, all of Iceland’s glaciers are shown on a single map, produced by the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), in collaboration with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Iceland Geosurvey.  The map is the first to incorporate historical data and coverage from aerial photographs and remote sensing satellites, such as Landsat and SPOT, to show the change in the areal extent of glaciers during the past century.

Iceland has about 300 glaciers throughout the country, and altogether, 269 glaciers, outlet glaciers and internal ice caps are named. The glaciers that lack names are small and largely newly revealed, exposed by melting of snow pack due to warmer summer temperatures.  The number of identified glaciers has nearly doubled at the beginning of the 21st century. (more…)

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Analysis of Greenland Ice Cores Adds to Historical Record and May Provide Glimpse into Climate’s Future

The International North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) project results indicate that melting of Antarctic ice sheet may have contributed more to sea level rise than melting of the Greeland ice sheet some 100,000 years ago

A new study that provides surprising details on changes in Earth’s climate from more than 100,000 years ago indicates that the last interglacial–the period between “ice ages”–was warmer than previously thought and may be a good analog for future climate, as greenhouse gases increase in the atmosphere and global temperatures rise.

The research findings also indicate that melting of the massive West Antarctic ice sheet may have contributed more to sea-level rise at that time than melting of the Greenland ice sheet. (more…)

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World’s Top Tech Students Go for It All Down Under

Young technologists are looking to take the world by storm this weekend at the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia.

SYDNEY – Wrapped in the flags of their countries, the competitors climb onto the podium, beaming with joy as the cameras flash. They are young, passionate, business-savvy ambassadors of their field.

These aren’t soccer players or high jumpers, but they are no less competitors than the athletes seeking gold medals at the 2012 Summer Games in London. They are the planet’s premiere young technologists. And, to slightly alter an infamous movie line, they’ve come to change the world and chew bubblegum – and they’re all out of bubblegum. (more…)

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Newly Discovered Icelandic Current Could Change North Atlantic Climate Picture

An international team of researchers, including physical oceanographers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has confirmed the presence of a deep-reaching ocean circulation system off Iceland that could significantly influence the ocean’s response to climate change in previously unforeseen ways.

The current, called the North Icelandic Jet (NIJ), contributes to a key component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as the “great ocean conveyor belt,” which is critically important for regulating Earth’s climate. As part of the planet’s reciprocal relationship between ocean circulation and climate, this conveyor belt transports warm surface water to high latitudes where the water warms the air, then cools, sinks, and returns towards the equator as a deep flow. (more…)

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With Global Warming, Arctic Access Will Diminish By Land But Improve By Sea

Global warming over the next 40 years will cut through Arctic transportation networks like a double-edged sword, limiting access in certain areas and vastly increasing it in others, a new UCLA study predicts.

“As sea ice continues to melt, accessibility by sea will increase, but the viability of an important network of roads that depend on freezing temperatures is threatened by a warming climate,” said Scott Stephenson, a UCLA graduate student in geography and the study’s lead author. (more…)

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Ceramic Coatings May Protect Jet Engines From Volcanic Ash

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Last year’s $2 billion shutdown of European airspace following a volcanic eruption in Iceland alerted everyone to the danger that ash clouds can pose to aircraft engines.

Now, researchers have discovered that a new class of ceramic coatings could offer jet engines special protection against volcanic ash damage in the future.

For a study published online in the Early View edition of the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers tested two coatings that were originally developed to keep airborne sand from damaging jet engines, and found that the coatings also resist damage caused by ash deposits. (more…)

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Iceland Volcano’s Molten Rock Could Become Source of High-Grade Energy

*Krafla volcano gives geologists unique, unexpected opportunity to study magma*

Geologists drilling an exploratory geothermal well in 2009 in the Krafla volcano in Iceland met with a big surprise: underground lava, also called magma, flowed into the well at 2.1 kilometers (6,900 feet) depth.

It forced the scientists to stop drilling. (more…)

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