Skating On Thin Ice

This image shows glaciers in Western Greenland

This image shows glaciers in Western Greenland

The most detailed study yet of the Greenland ice sheet illustrates the complex process that is causing billions of tonnes to melt ever year.

LONDON, 27 December, 2014 − Greenland’s ice sheet shrank by an average of 243 billion tonnes a year between 2003 and 2009 – a rate of melting that is enough to raise the world’s sea levels by 0.68 mm per year.

In what is claimed as the first detailed study, geologist Beata Csatho, of the University of Buffalo in the US, and colleagues report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they used satellite and aerial data to reconstruct changes in the ice sheet at 100,000 places, and to confirm that the process of losing 277 cubic kilometres of ice a year is more complex than anyone had predicted.

The Greenland ice sheet is the second biggest body of ice on Earth − second only to Antarctica − and its role in the machinery of the northern hemisphere climate is profound.
Careful measurements

It has been closely studied for decades, but such are the conditions in the high Arctic that researchers have tended to make careful measurements of ice melt and glacier calving in fixed locations – in particular, at four glaciers − and then try to estimate what that might mean for the island as a whole.

“The great importance of our data is that, for the first time, we have a comprehensive picture of how all of Greenland’s glaciers have changed over the past decade,” Dr Csatho said.

The study looked at readings from NASA’s ice, cloud and land elevation satellite ICESat, and from aerial surveys of 242 glaciers wider than 1.5 km at their outlets, to get a more complete picture of melting, loss and – in some cases – thickening of the ice sheet as a whole.

Tim Radford @ CNN

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About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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16 Responses to Skating On Thin Ice

  1. Den says:

    As we slowly use up this planet certain obvious signs warning of impending extinction due to the gross pollution of humanity in the relentless pursuit of resources. Humanity will soon find they will essentially be buried in their own garbage with no place to go.

    Like

  2. Den says:

    Meanwhile there are 40mph wind gust blowing things around here as a front passes thru, 25 expected tonight, not good weather for golfing, not that I do, just not good.

    Be sure to help yourself to Martha’s latest creations

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  3. David B. Benson says:

    16 °F here now.

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  4. David B. Benson says:

    6 geese-a-laying day

    Like

  5. º¿carol says:

    It’s 15° here right now. Felt cold to me every time I had to step out there to either go to the garage with something, or toss some compost over the deck rail into the compost bucket. I do all that coat-less, no matter what the weather.

    Like

  6. º¿carol says:

    Did you see the congressman that threatened to toss the reporter over the rail in the capitol rotunda actually resigned? He’s been indicted for crimes, but I think he was already indicted before the election and they voted for him anyway. Grimm is his name. He looks like a gangster to me.

    Then there is another repuke that has ties to skin heads, or Ku Klux Klan.

    Like

  7. Den says:

    Got yer Gangstas right here:

    Like

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