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Latest Ice sheet Stories

d577edf252e469e8a798d559d2f399c11
2009-01-19 15:15:00

A large ice shelf is near collapse in Antarctica, held together only by a small strip of ice as global warming continues to alter the map of the frozen continent. "We've come to the Wilkins Ice Shelf to see its final death throes," glaciologist David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) told Reuters after his red Twin Otter plane landed near the shelf's narrowest section. "It really could go at any minute," he said, adding that the ice bridge could linger weeks or months. The large,...

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2009-01-08 16:25:00

New research indicates that the ocean could rise in the next 100 years to a meter higher than the current sea level "“ which is three times higher than predictions from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC. The groundbreaking new results from an international collaboration between researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, England and Finland are published in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics.According to the UN's...

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2008-12-22 08:45:00

The idea of a white Christmas may seem magical for many of us, but spare a thought for a team of scientists forgoing the festive season to take part in a novel campaign being carried out in one of the most inhospitable regions on Earth to support ESA's ice mission CryoSat. German scientists from the Technical University of Dresden and the Alfred Wegener Institute are spending up to four months venturing out onto the vast frozen reaches of what is known as the 'blue ice' region near the...

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2008-11-28 12:55:00

Scientists have developed computer models that are useful in predicting how fast icebergs break off Antarctica and Greenland. Researchers hope the discovery will enable them to predict rising sea levels due to global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels. "To predict the future of the ice sheet and to understand the past, we have to put the information into a computer," says Richard B. Alley, the Evan Pugh professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. "The models we have...

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2008-11-17 13:24:34

Scientists say that enormous floods beneath the Antarctic ice sheet can now be linked directly to the speed at which that ice moves towards the ocean. The giant Byrd Glacier in east Antarctica sped up just as two lakes under the ice overflowed, according to Leigh Stearns and colleagues. They say the floodwater acts as a lubricant, easing the ice over the bedrock. Experts believe the more ice the Polar Regions dump in the ocean, the higher the waters will rise. Ice behavior in response to a...

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2008-11-13 08:40:00

Observations from satellites now allow scientists to monitor changes to water levels in the sea, in rivers and lakes, in ice sheets and even under the ground. As the climate changes, this information will be crucial for monitoring its effects and predicting future impacts in different regions. Sea level rise in one of the major consequences of global warming, but it is much more difficult to model and predict than temperature. It involves the oceans and their interaction with the atmosphere,...

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2008-11-06 09:30:00

A NASA-led research team has used satellite data to make the most precise measurements to date of changes in the mass of mountain glaciers in the Gulf of Alaska, a region expected to be a significant contributor to global sea level rise over the next 50-100 years.Geophysicist Scott Luthcke of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and colleagues knew from well-documented research that changes in the cryosphere "“ glaciers, ice caps, and other parts of the globe covered...

07b87a5e9bfd7688a81742156de11be71
2008-10-31 08:40:00

Human activities are making both Antarctica and the Arctic less icy because of global warming, scientists said on Thursday. An international team published their findings in the recent Nature Geoscience journal. "We're able for the first time to directly attribute warming in both the Arctic and the Antarctic to human influences," said Nathan Gillett of England's University of East Anglia of a study he led with colleagues in the United States, Britain and Japan. The research team measured...

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2008-10-29 10:29:36

Scientists from the U.S., U.K. and Australia have teamed up to explore two of the last uncharted regions of Earth, the Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins, immense ice-buried lowlands in Antarctica with a combined area the size of Mexico. The research could show how Earth's climate changed in the past and how future climate change will affect global sea level. Scientists believe the barely observed Aurora Subglacial Basin, which lies in East Antarctica, could represent the weak underbelly of...

fa7a6952a994346915c5d05114b8a538
2008-09-05 12:55:00

A US team of researchers concluded that global sea levels are very unlikely to reach above 2m during this century. In fact, the speed of glaciers resulting in a rise over 2m is "physically untenable", researchers note in Friday's edition of the journal Science. Scientists say that news is still nothing to applaud. "Even a sea level rise of 20cm (8in) in a century will have quite dramatic implications," said Shad O'Neel from the US Geological Survey (USGS). "This work is in no way meant to...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'