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Latest Ice sheet Stories

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2010-03-02 11:17:07

The melting of glaciers is well documented, but when looking at the rate at which they have been retreating, a team of international researchers steps back and says not so fast. Previous studies have largely overestimated mass loss from Alaskan glaciers over the past 40-plus years, according to Erik Schiefer, a Northern Arizona University geographer who coauthored a paper in the February issue of Nature Geoscience that recalculates glacier melt in Alaska. The research team, led by...

2010-02-27 07:56:41

As ESA's Mission Scientist for CryoSat, Mark Drinkwater's role in supporting the preparation of the mission has been to ensure that the satellite and data processing systems are compatible with achieving the mission's objectives of deriving accurate measurements of ice-thickness change. Mark Drinkwater, a British national, trained as a geophysicist and performed early pioneering research in the use of altimeter measurements over polar ice. He currently heads the Mission Science Division at...

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2010-02-16 06:05:00

According to studies released on Sunday, winds and currents that drive warmer water into fjords, where it carves out the base of coastal glaciers, are significantly eroding Greenland's ice sheet. The icy mass holds enough water to boost global sea levels 23 feet, which could potentially drown low-lying coastal cities and deltas across the globe. The ocean watermark is currently rising about 0.12 inches a year, which compares with 0.07 inches annually in the early 1960s. However,...

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2010-01-14 14:15:00

In what might seem rather appropriate weather conditions, the CryoSat-2 Earth Explorer satellite has completed its journey to the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, where it will be prepared for launch on February 25. The satellite and support equipment left the "ËœIABG' test center in Ottobrunn, Germany, by lorry on January 12. The CryoSat mission is dedicated to precise monitoring of the changes in the thickness of marine ice floating in the polar oceans and variations in the...

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2009-12-17 06:00:00

Global warming in this century might raise sea levels more than expected in future centuries, says a study that looked at what happened at a time when Neanderthals roamed Europe. Unless global warming is curbed or expensive measures are taken to hold back rising water, the projected sea level rise could submerge about one-third of Florida, southern Manhattan, much of Bangladesh and almost all the Netherlands, for example, researchers said. An expert praised the work but cautioned that such...

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2009-12-16 09:27:00

Researchers learning more about how water beneath glaciers contributes to ice loss Scientists who study the melting of Greenland's glaciers are discovering that water flowing beneath the ice plays a much more complex role than they previously imagined. Researchers previously thought that meltwater simply lubricated ice against the bedrock, speeding the flow of glaciers out to sea. Now, new studies have revealed that the effect of meltwater on acceleration and ice loss -- through fast-moving...

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2009-12-15 06:20:00

A U.S. government agency predicted the melting of the polar ice cap in the year 2030. However, climate guru Al Gore said at the U.N. climate conference on Monday that new computer modeling indicates this could happen as soon as 2014. One U.S. government scientist on Monday said the new prediction was too severe, but other researchers have previously projected a quicker end than 2030 to the Arctic summer ice cap. Former U.S. Vice President Gore said, "It is hard to capture the astonishment...

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2009-12-01 14:45:00

A major scientific report released on Tuesday showed that rapid ice loss in West Antarctica will likely contribute heavily to a projected sea level rise of up to 4.5 feet by 2100, AFP reported. For years scientists believed that most of Antarctica's continent-sized ice sheet was highly resistant to global warming, and that the more vulnerable West Antarctic ice block would remain intact for thousands of years to come. But according to the review by more than 100 experts on the Scientific...

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2009-11-20 08:15:00

A new study of Antarctica's past climate reveals that temperatures during the warm periods between ice ages may have been higher than previously thought A new study of Antarctica's past climate reveals that temperatures during the warm periods between ice ages (interglacials) may have been higher than previously thought. The latest analysis of ice core records suggests that Antarctic temperatures may have been up to 6°C warmer than the present day. The findings, reported this week by...

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2009-11-09 10:51:41

Large blooms of tiny marine plants flourish in Antarctic waters left exposed by the recent and rapid melting of ice shelves and glaciers around the Antarctic Peninsula Large blooms of tiny marine plants called phytoplankton are flourishing in areas of open water left exposed by the recent and rapid melting of ice shelves and glaciers around the Antarctic Peninsula. This remarkable colonization is having a beneficial impact on climate change. As the blooms die back phytoplankton sinks to the...