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Latest Cryosphere Stories

2011-01-21 00:00:48

High-Resolution Video, Photos Available Upon Request New York (Vocus/PRWEB) January 20, 2011 New research shows that 2010 set new records for the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, expected to be a major contributor to projected sea level rises in coming decades. "This past melt season was exceptional, with melting in some areas stretching up to 50 days longer than average," said Dr. Marco Tedesco, Director of the Cryosphere Processes Laboratory at the City College of New York (CCNY...

2011-01-18 19:19:19

A new analysis of the Northern Hemisphere's "albedo feedback" over a 30-year period concludes that the region's loss of reflectivity due to snow and sea ice decline is more than double what state-of-the-art climate models estimate. The findings are important, researchers say, because they suggest that Arctic warming amplified by the loss of reflectivity could be even more significant than previously thought. The study was published online this week in Nature Geoscience. It was funded...

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2011-01-17 06:05:00

The Northern Hemisphere's shrinking ice and snow cover is causing less and less sunlight to reflect back into space in a previously underestimated mechanism that could add to global warming, according to a new study on the subject. Satellite data indicated that Arctic sea ice, glaciers, winter snow pack and Greenland's ice were reflecting less energy back into space between 1979 and 2008. The dwindling amount of reflective energy exposes the ground and water, both of which are darker and...

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2010-11-04 11:32:00

Melt water flowing through ice sheets via crevasses, fractures and large drains called moulins can carry warmth into ice sheet interiors, greatly accelerating the thermal response of an ice sheet to climate change, according to a new study involving the University of Colorado at Boulder. The new study showed ice sheets like the Greenland Ice Sheet can respond to such warming on the order of decades rather than the centuries projected by conventional thermal models. Ice flows more readily as...

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2010-10-05 09:35:00

NASA has launched a new system which will help experts keep an eye on the impact of climate change in the Himalayan Mountains, an important source of water for more than a million people, according to an AFP report on Tuesday. The new initiative is part of NASA's ongoing SERVIR project, a regional monitoring system named for the Spanish word to serve. It is also a Spanish-language acronym for Regional Visualization and Monitoring System for Mesoamerica, according to a 2005 press release...

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2010-09-14 08:38:05

The Arctic Ocean is covered by a dynamic layer of sea ice that grows each winter and shrinks each summer, reaching its yearly minimum size each fall. While the 2010 minimum remains to be seen, NASA's Aqua satellite captured this snapshot on Sept. 3. How does the Aqua satellite "see" sea ice? Microwaves. Everything on Earth's surface -- including people -- emits microwave radiation, the properties of which vary with the emitter, thereby allowing the AMSR-E microwave sensor on Aqua to map the...

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2010-07-28 07:19:48

Antarctica may not be the world's largest landmass -- it's the fifth-largest continent -- but resting on top of that land is the world's largest ice sheet. That ice holds more than 60 percent of Earth's fresh water and carries the potential to significantly raise sea level. The continent is losing ice to the sea, and scientists want to know how much. Antarctica's ice generally flows from the middle of the continent toward the edge, dipping toward the sea before lifting back up and floating....

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2010-06-15 07:38:47

As Arctic sea-ice recedes inexorably towards another record summer minimum, scientists have highlighted the exceptional contribution that satellites have made to the International Polar Year and charting the effects of climate change. Celebrating the remarkable accomplishments of the International Polar Year (IPY), the IPY Oslo Science Conference last week drew together 2400 researchers, educators and members of northern communities "“ making it the biggest polar science meeting ever...

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2010-02-19 07:38:04

In 2007, the Arctic lost a massive amount of thick, multiyear sea ice, contributing to that year's record-low extent of Arctic sea ice. A new NASA-led study has found that the record loss that year was due in part to the absence of "ice arches," naturally-forming, curved ice structures that span the openings between two land points. These arches block sea ice from being pushed by winds or currents through narrow passages and out of the Arctic basin. Beginning each fall, sea ice spreads across...

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2009-12-14 10:53:16

Fictional secret agent Angus MacGyver knew that tough situations demand ingenuity. Jessica Lundquist takes a similar approach to studying snowfall. The University of Washington assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering uses dime-sized temperature sensors, first developed for the refrigerated food industry, and tennis balls. In summer months she attaches the sensors to tennis balls that are weighted with gravel, and uses a dog-ball launcher to propel the devices high into...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'