PDA

View Full Version : Antarctica Getting Warmer After All


caonacl
01-21-2009, 08:03 PM
Antarctica Getting Warmer After All

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
By Andrea Thompson
[/URL]
http://www.foxnews.com/images/494325/1_61_antarctic_warming.jpg (http://buzz.yahoo.com/article/pub/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.foxnews.com%252Fstory%252F0 %252C2933%252C481227%252C00.html) NASA

Warming in Antarctica over the past half-century; the darker the red, the greater the increase in temperature.


The frozen desert interior of Antarctica was thought to be the lone holdout resisting the man-made warming affecting the rest of the globe, with some areas even showing signs of cooling.

Some global-warming contrarians liked to point to inner Antarctica as a counter-example. But climate researchers have now turned this notion on its head, with the first study to show that the entire continent (http://www.livescience.com/environment/080507-models-overheat.html) is warming, and has been for the past 50 years.

"Antarctica is warming, and it's warming at the same rate as the rest of the planet," said study co-author Michael Mann of Penn State University.
(http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/naturalscience/)
This finding, detailed in the Jan. 21 issue of the journal Nature, has implications for estimating ice melt and sea level rise from the continent, which is almost entirely covered by ice that averages about a mile (1.6 kilometers) thick.
The revelation also undermines the common use of Antarctica (http://www.livescience.com/topic/antarctica) as an argument against global warming (http://www.livescience.com/topic/global-warming) by contrarians, Mann said.
Ozone and cooling


Not all of Antarctica was thought to be immune to rising global temperatures, of course.

Scientists have been watching as the Antarctic Peninsula, the only part of the continent that juts outside the Antarctic Circle, has warmed faster than the global average, and entire ice shelves have collapsed (http://www.livescience.com/environment/080710-ice-shelf.html) into the south polar ocean.

In stark contrast, a large part of the continent — the East Antarctic Ice Sheet — was found to be getting colder. The cooling was linked to another anthropogenic (human-caused) effect: ozone depletion.

Ozone in the Earth's stratosphere absorbs the sun's incoming ultraviolet rays, protecting living things on the surface (including humans) from detrimental effects. Certain types of manmade chemicals have depleted much of this protective layer over the last few decades.

As ozone was depleted, less radiation was absorbed at this layer of the atmosphere, which altered the layering of temperatures over Antarctica, over which the largest ozone "hole" is found (it's not really a hole, but rather a region of extreme thinning).

This in turn altered wind patterns and strengthened the circumpolar vortex, creating a wall of winds that isolated the cold air over Antarctica from the warm air over the South Pacific Ocean, Mann explained.

Essentially, the effect of ozone depletion was "overwhelming the influence of greenhouse warming," Mann told LiveScience.

He and his colleagues were able to show this in their study by compiling a more comprehensive temperature profile of Antarctica than scientists have ever had.

Weather stations and satellites
Weather stations have been in place in Antarctica since 1957, but almost all of them are near the coast, providing no information about conditions in the continent's interior.

Satellites are available now that calculate the surface temperature of the interior based on how much infrared light is radiated by the snowpack, but these records only go back 25 years.

The key to the study was comparing the two records and finding that they matched up closely for overlapping time periods.

The researchers then developed a statistical technique that used the data from both sources to make a new estimate of Antarctic temperature trends.

"People were calculating with their heads instead of actually doing the math," said lead author of the study Eric Steig, of the University of Washington in Seattle. "What we did is interpolate carefully instead of just using the back of an envelope."

Their work showed that not only was the Antarctic Peninsula warming, but the interior of West Antarctica — the ice sheet most susceptible to potential future collapse — was as well.

And not only that, but that "the continent on the whole is warming," Mann said. "This is the first study to demonstrate that."

The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, found that warming in West Antarctica exceeded about 0.18 degree Fahrenheit (0.1 degree Celsius) per decade for the last 50 years — more than enough to offset the cooling in East Antarctica.

And with ozone depletion having leveled off, that cooling is unlikely to continue in the future.

"Efforts to repair the ozone layer eventually will begin taking effect and the hole could be eliminated by the middle of this century. If that happens, all of Antarctica could begin warming (http://www.livescience.com/environment/080612-ozone-warming.html) on a par with the rest of the world," Steig said.

"The greenhouse signal is now out-competing the ozone depletion signal," Mann said.

The study is "good work," said Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., but he says there are unique aspects of Antarctica's climate that haven't been taken into account.

Trenberth was not involved in the Nature study.

One problem is that temperature inversions can bring warmer air down, influencing surface temperatures.

"This aspect has not been addressed to date," Trenberth told LiveScience.
The authors dispute this comment: "There is no evidence to support Trenberth's speculation, and there is much evidence that he is wrong," Steig told LiveScience.

Steig explained that they saw the same results whether they used satellite temperatures or those from the weather stations that sit a few meters above the surface, which wouldnt' be the case if inversions were an important factor.

Andrew Monaghan, also of NCAR, said that he agreed with the broad findings of the study, which line up with similar studies he has done of Antarctic temperature trends.

He told LiveScience that the biggest finding of the study was the warming of West Antarctica, which is part of the broad ice sheet contributing to ice melt — "it's a Greenland-sized chunk of Antarctica," he said.
Monaghan, who was also not part of the Nature study, said that it is harder to generalize to the continent as a whole and that Antarctica has a highly variable natural climate and that "we still don't understand the natural component well at all."
Implications and contrarians

The implications of the findings for the stability of the Antarctic's ice sheets aren't entirely clear yet and will have to be evaluated by ice sheet modelers, Mann said.

The worry isn't so much from East Antarctica, which sits at a higher elevation than the rest of the continent and is so cold (many degrees below freezing) that the few tenths of a degree of warming isn't yet an issue.

But the study likely means that "a larger part of West Antarctica is melting" than previously thought, Mann said.

West Antarctica is more subject to warm, moist storms, and because its ice is all landlocked, it could contribute to sea level rise if it melts. (Ice that's floating on the sea does not raise the sea level if it melts.)

Modelers won't be the only ones interested in the study's findings, as other scientists will likely seek ways to independently and directly confirm or refute the data.

Mann mentioned one such study that has been submitted to a journal that used holes in the ice to see how temperatures have changed in the past and has confirmed the underlying warming in East Antarctica.

Outside of these impacts, the study also take away "one of the standard talking points of [global warming] contrarians," Mann said.

The argument used by skeptics (http://www.livescience.com/environment/070716_gw_notwrong.html) was "how can the globe be warming if a whole continent is cooling," Mann explained.

Mann said that this argument was "disingenuous" to begin with because the cooling caused by ozone depletion was reproduced by climate models, but the new study soundly routs contrarian claims, he said.
Mann is one of the scientists behind the blog RealClimate.org, which aims to explain the science behind climate change. Steig is contributing a post there on the new study to explain the findings.

[URL]http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,481227,00.html#

Ought Six
01-24-2009, 11:47 PM
Antarctic ‘warming’ a bit too convenient (http://www.suffolknewsherald.com/news/2009/jan/24/antarctic-warming-bit-too-convenient/)


James M. Taylor
The Suffolk News Herald
Saturday, January 24, 2009


An article in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature argues that, in defiance of decades of raw temperature data showing Antarctica is cooling, the continent is actually warming.

I would be quite wary of assigning much value to this article. Raw temperature data and a number of studies over many years have determined that Antarctica is cooling. Now we have a single article, reliant on subjective data interpretation from well-known global warming alarmists, saying the opposite.

For a long time now, Antarctic cooling has been a stone in the shoe of global warming alarmists. Now, conveniently, those who regularly blog on an alarmist Web site claim they have “statistically smoothed” the data to show Antarctica is warming, even though surface temperature stations show a significant, long-term cooling trend.

The article appears to argue that, due to incredibly bad luck, many temperature stations scattered throughout the continent are located in random, isolated pockets of cooling that defy the overall warming trend.

The odds of this being the case are quite remote, and the theory is notably short on reliable evidence. Adding to the dubious nature of the study’s conclusion is the authors’ self-interest in silencing an embarrassing mountain of raw temperature data that contradict the authors’ global warming theory.

It is funny how global warming alarmists worship at the altar of alleged “consensus,” but then totally abandon the appeal to consensus when it is convenient to do so.

Kassy
01-25-2009, 07:35 AM
The article appears to argue that, due to incredibly bad luck, many temperature stations scattered throughout the continent are located in random, isolated pockets of cooling that defy the overall warming trend.

Wow that's some in depth criticism by James M. Taylor...doesn't look like he bothered to read the original.

Ross
01-25-2009, 07:36 AM
Casey Station - An Australian base in the Antarctic
Monthly temp averages since 1995 to 2009
I see no significant trend.

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii27/BJH431/caseyStation19952009.gif

Mousehound
01-25-2009, 07:54 AM
While the rest of the world has been warming up, the interior of Antarctica has been getting colder.

The thinking was that stronger winds, ozone layer holes and moist air were bringing in more snow to keep temperatures down.

But new research has found that, in fact, the iciest continent is undergoing the same changes as the rest of the planet.

The research, conducted by a group of scientists in the United States led by Professor Eric Steig at the University of Washington, has been published in the journal Nature.

"Most studies of Antarctic climate change in the recent past have relied on weather records, which are located at the Antarctic research stations," Professor Steig told the ABC's AM program.

"And most of those stations, there are 42 of them, are on the coastline or near the Antarctic coastline, with only two in the interior of the continent.

"Some of those stations have shown cooling in recent decades, including one of those in the centre of the continent at the South Pole, and that's resulted in the popular notion that all of Antarctica is cooling."

Working out what has been happening across the icy interior has been the challenge.

"What we did is we took advantage of the fact that, in fact, there is data. There's over 25 years now of data from satellites, which provides an alternative way to measure the temperature," Professor Steig said.

West Antarctica warming up

By correlating the two, the research team believes it has come up with an accurate picture stretching back half a century, and it shows western Antarctica especially has been getting warmer by about a 10th of a degree every decade.

"What we found, in a nutshell, is that Antarctica is not cooling," Professor Steig said.

"Now some parts of it have been cooling, but only since the late 1970s, and only in certain seasons, primarily in autumn.

"On average the entire continent is warming and especially it is warming in winter and spring. Finally, west Antarctica, just like the Antarctic peninsula, is warming in all seasons."

A lot of the concern about climate change has focused on the northern polar region and the potential for the melting of Greenland's ice sheet.

Professor Barry Brook, from the University of Adelaide's Institute for Climate Change, welcomes the new research, which he says will improve understanding of potential threats in the south - major ice sheets like those in western Antarctica.

"There's a number of large ice sheets there that are grounded below sea level and so if they start to melt they contribute to sea level rise," he said.

"And so the worry is that if temperatures are going up more rapidly in west Antarctica than we previously expected, the sea level could be rising faster or will continue to rise faster this century than we would have otherwise anticipated."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/22/2472221.htm

Mousehound
01-25-2009, 08:04 AM
O6, I clicked your link to the Suffolk News-Herald. It looked like a blog of sorts to me with no scientific reasearch or links mentioned (read: dead-end).

mordan
01-25-2009, 08:45 AM
Natural Cause For West Antarctica’s Warming?

There might be a possible natural explanation for West Antarctica’s warming. In 2008, scientists from the British Antarctic Survey reported a layer of volcanic ash and glass shards frozen within an ice sheet in western Antarctica. The volcano punched a hole right through due to its heat and force.

This geologic event may prove to be the source of the recent warming seen in West Antarctica in what has otherwise been reported as a 50-year cooling trend seen in East Antarctica. This seems to be the first time scientists see a volcano beneath the ice sheet punching a hole through the ice sheet.

The location of the warming is contained in the western region by the mountain range, and that indicates that the warmer air comes from a local source and not from a global phenomenon to the entire continent. Even if the volcano hasn’t erupted yet, it is now churning and bubbling beneath the surface, moving its heat and toxic gases around. Therefore, it’s a contributing factor to the ice melting currently seen in West Antarctica.

As a whole, the continent at the bottom of the Earth, that is Antarctica, has warmed by roughly half a degree Celsius in the last 50 years. In order to determine that the continent is warming, not cooling, scientists have combined weather station records with satellite measurements. On average, the entire continent is warming especially in winter and spring. It remains to be seen if people will be able to do something to stop this process.


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/world/21volcano.html?_r=2&refer=science



Here is another factor that might be contributing to the thinning of some of the Antarctica’s glaciers: volcanoes.
Skip to next paragraph
Multimedia
A Buried Volcano
A Buried Volcano

In an article published Sunday on the Web site of the journal Nature Geoscience, Hugh F. J. Corr and David G. Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey report the identification of a layer of volcanic ash and glass shards frozen within an ice sheet in western Antarctica.

For Antarctica, “This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet,” Dr. Vaughan said.

Heat from a volcano could still be melting ice and contributing to the thinning and speeding up of the Pine Island Glacier, which passes nearby, but Dr. Vaughan doubted that it could be affecting other glaciers in West Antarctica, which have also thinned in recent years. Most glaciologists, including Dr. Vaughan, say that warmer ocean water is the primary cause.

Volcanically, Antarctica is a fairly quiet place. But sometime around 325 B.C., the researchers said, a hidden and still active volcano erupted, puncturing several hundred yards of ice above it. Ash and shards from the volcano carried through the air and settled onto the surrounding landscape. That layer is now out of sight, hidden beneath the snows that fell over the subsequent 23 centuries.

Although out of sight, the layer showed up clearly in airborne radar surveys conducted over the region in 2004 and 2005 by American and British scientists. The reflected radio waves, over an elliptical area about 110 miles wide, were so strong that earlier radar surveys had mistakenly identified it as bedrock. Better radar techniques now can detect a second echo from the actual bedrock farther down.

The thickness of ice above the ash layer provided an estimate of the date of the eruption: 207 B.C., give or take 240 years. For a more precise date, Mr. Corr and Dr. Vaughan turned to previous observations from ice cores, which contained spikes in the concentration of acids, another byproduct of eruptions. Scientists knew that an eruption occurred around 325 B.C., plus or minus a few years, but did not know where the eruption occurred. “We’re fairly confident this is the same eruption,” Dr. Vaughan said.

Now, they know both time and place.

“It’s probably within Alexander the Great’s lifetime, but not more precise than that,” Dr. Vaughan said.

The under-ice eruption was probably similar to one in Iceland in 2004. Although explosive, spewing ash more than seven miles in the air, the Iceland eruption was much less powerful than Mount St. Helens, the volcano in Washington State that blew off its peak in 1980.

caonacl
01-25-2009, 09:55 AM
Casey Station - An Australian base in the Antarctic
Monthly temp averages since 1995 to 2009
I see no significant trend.

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii27/BJH431/caseyStation19952009.gif
I don't think Air temperature is that reliable a way to guage warming. As long as the ice surface area remains about the same, the air temperature will remain about the same. Rate of melting ice is much more reliable.

As everyone likely already knows, water that contains water ice is about 0°C nomatter how large the ice cube.

Ross
01-25-2009, 06:46 PM
Where the volcanoes are ....

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/AntarcticVolcanoes2.jpg

where the warming is apparent .
http://www.foxnews.com/images/494325/1_61_antarctic_warming.jpg

Draw your own conclusions.

rryan
01-26-2009, 10:48 AM
Off to the re-education camps with you Ross.

You know it's not polite to point out these kind of things.

Kassy
01-26-2009, 05:07 PM
And what;s warming that big land mass between Berlin and Royal Society Range?

Invisible volcanoes?

caonacl
01-26-2009, 07:22 PM
Off to the re-education camps with you Ross.

You know it's not polite to point out these kind of things.
Do you know how damning it would be if Anarctica's glaciers were melting because of new volcanic activity?

caonacl
01-26-2009, 07:25 PM
Do you know how damning it would be if Anarctica's glaciers were melting because of new volcanic activity?
Scientists Find Active Volcano in Antarctica
By KENNETH CHANG (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/kenneth_chang/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: January 21, 2008
Here is another factor that might be contributing to the thinning of some of the Antarctica (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/antarctica/index.html?inline=nyt-geo)’s glaciers: volcanoes.

In an article published Sunday on the Web site of the journal Nature Geoscience (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/index.html), Hugh F. J. Corr and David G. Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey report the identification of a layer of volcanic ash and glass shards frozen within an ice sheet in western Antarctica.


For Antarctica, “This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet,” Dr. Vaughan said.

Heat from a volcano could still be melting ice and contributing to the thinning and speeding up of the Pine Island Glacier, which passes nearby, but Dr. Vaughan doubted that it could be affecting other glaciers in West Antarctica, which have also thinned in recent years. Most glaciologists, including Dr. Vaughan, say that warmer ocean water is the primary cause.

Volcanically, Antarctica is a fairly quiet place. But sometime around 325 B.C., the researchers said, a hidden and still active volcano erupted, puncturing several hundred yards of ice above it. Ash and shards from the volcano carried through the air and settled onto the surrounding landscape. That layer is now out of sight, hidden beneath the snows that fell over the subsequent 23 centuries.

Although out of sight, the layer showed up clearly in airborne radar surveys conducted over the region in 2004 and 2005 by American and British scientists. The reflected radio waves, over an elliptical area about 110 miles wide, were so strong that earlier radar surveys had mistakenly identified it as bedrock. Better radar techniques now can detect a second echo from the actual bedrock farther down.

The thickness of ice above the ash layer provided an estimate of the date of the eruption: 207 B.C., give or take 240 years. For a more precise date, Mr. Corr and Dr. Vaughan turned to previous observations from ice cores, which contained spikes in the concentration of acids, another byproduct of eruptions. Scientists knew that an eruption occurred around 325 B.C., plus or minus a few years, but did not know where the eruption occurred. “We’re fairly confident this is the same eruption,” Dr. Vaughan said.
Now, they know both time and place.

“It’s probably within Alexander the Great’s lifetime, but not more precise than that,” Dr. Vaughan said.

The under-ice eruption was probably similar to one in Iceland in 2004. Although explosive, spewing ash more than seven miles in the air, the Iceland eruption was much less powerful than Mount St. Helens, the volcano in Washington State that blew off its peak in 1980.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/world/21volcano.html

Kassy
01-27-2009, 02:18 PM
Do you know how damning it would be if Anarctica's glaciers were melting because of new volcanic activity?

Proof of lots of invisible volcanoes. :yes:

Ought Six
01-27-2009, 07:30 PM
So you are saying that the volcanoes in Antarctica do not exist? Seriously ???

caonacl
01-27-2009, 07:57 PM
Proof of lots of invisible volcanoes. :yes:
Is Yellowstone and invisible volcano?

Mousehound
01-28-2009, 10:40 AM
Is Yellowstone and invisible volcano?

Did Yellowstone move to Antarctica, and nobody told me?

caonacl
01-28-2009, 12:29 PM
Did Yellowstone move to Antarctica, and nobody told me?
The most catastrophic volcanoes are the ones that we cannot see. If Antartica is melting because of moving magma, it's likely a mantle plume, and that could potentially cause a collapse in the ice sheets.

I'm not really saying that is what it happening, I'm only saying that the "it's the volcanoes" answer is not a good one.

caonacl
01-29-2009, 08:46 PM
Do you know how damning it would be if Anarctica's glaciers were melting because of new volcanic activity?

First Evidence Of Under-ice Volcanic Eruption In Antarctica

ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2008) — The first evidence of a volcanic eruption from beneath Antarctica's most rapidly changing ice sheet has been reported. The volcano on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet erupted 2000 years ago (325BC) and remains active.

The subglacial volcano has a 'volcanic explosion index' of around 3-4. Heat from the volcano creates melt-water that lubricates the base of the ice sheet and increases the flow towards the sea. Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is showing rapid change and BAS scientists are part of an international research effort to understand this change.

Using airborne ice-sounding radar, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) discovered a layer of ash produced by a 'subglacial' volcano. It extends across an area larger than Wales.

Lead author* Hugh Corr of the BAS says, "The discovery of a 'subglacial' volcanic eruption from beneath the Antarctic ice sheet is unique in itself. But our techniques also allow us to put a date on the eruption, determine how powerful it was and map out the area where ash fell. We believe this was the biggest eruption in Antarctica during the last 10,000 years. It blew a substantial hole in the ice sheet, and generated a plume of ash and gas that rose around 12 km into air."

The discovery is another vital piece of evidence that will help determine the future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and refine predictions of future sea-level rise. Glaciers are like massive rivers of ice that flow towards the coast and discharge icebergs into the sea.

Co-author Professor David Vaughan (BAS) says,"This eruption occurred close to Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The flow of this glacier towards the coast has speeded up in recent decades and it may be possible that heat from the volcano has caused some of that acceleration. However, it cannot explain the more widespread thinning of West Antarctic glaciers that together are contributing nearly 0.2mm per year to sea-level rise. This wider change most probably has its origin in warming ocean waters."

About the volcano
The volcano is located beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet in the Hudson Mountains at latitude 74.6°South, longitude 97°West. Volcanoes are an important component of the Antarctic region. They formed in diverse tectonic settings, mainly as a result of mantle plumes acting on the stationary Antarctic plate. The region also includes amongst the world's best examples of a long-lived continental margin arc (Antarctic Peninsula), a very young marginal basin (Bransfield Strait) and an oceanic island arc (South Sandwich Islands). Many extinct volcanoes are very well preserved and others are still active (e.g. Deception Island, Mount Erebus, and the South Sandwich Islands).

Volcanic eruptions were common during the past 25 million years, and coincided with the great period of climatic deterioration that resulted in the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet. Many of the volcanoes show the effects of interaction with ice. BAS has played a major role in describing these effects and modelling their influences on the resulting volcanic sequences. It is important to describe and understand these interactions in geologically recent times in order to predict future configurations of the ice sheet and its role in the global system.

*The paper 'A recent volcanic eruption beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet' by Hugh F Corr and David G Vaughan is published in the February edition of Nature Geosciences (online).
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080120160720.htm

caonacl
02-01-2009, 11:46 AM
Antarctic warming rapidly say scientists
Simon Butler
31 January 2009

Yet another global warming sceptic argument has bitten the dust with the release of new research indicating that Antarctica is warming rapidly.

Until now, the evidence for the warming of Antarctica had been inconclusive. Climate sceptics have argued that the frozen continent is actually cooling down.

But new data from satellites and weather stations published in the science journal Nature on January 22 reveals that the Antarctic has warmed by around 0.6°C on average over the last half century.

Overall, Antarctica is warming at the same pace as the rest of the world. But the authors also point out that their findings do not necessarily contradict earlier studies indicating that the temperature of East Antarctica has cooled slightly.

However, the West Antarctic appears to be warming swiftly. The evidence strongly suggests that the huge West Antarctica ice shelf is unstable and under threat. This mirrors knowledge that the important Greenland ice sheet is also shrinking due to climate change.

If Antarctica continues warm at the same rate the ecological impact could be disastrous.

Professor Barry Brook from the University of Adelaide told the January 23 British Guardian that “even losing a fraction of both [ice sheets] would cause a few metres of sea level rise this century, with disastrous consequences”.

British Antarctic Survey scientist, Gareth Marshall, commented on the findings to the BBC on January 21: “This study shows that, similar to the other six continents, Antarctica has undergone a significant warming over the past 50 years.

“The magnitude of this warming is similar to the rest of the southern hemisphere, where we believe it is likely that human activity has played some role in the temperature increase, and therefore it is also likely that this is the case regarding an Antarctic warming.”

http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/781/40271

Kassy
02-01-2009, 06:40 PM
Is Yellowstone and invisible volcano?

Did Yellowstone melt ice?

If one volcano on Antarctica melted a shelf that would be damning for the shelf but it wouldn't matter for the whole continent.

The volcanoes in Greenland are not the cause for the melt and same goes for Antarctica.

The OP didn't consider volcanoes at all and they're not relevant here.

Ought Six
02-01-2009, 06:47 PM
K:"The volcanoes in Greenland are not the cause for the melt and same goes for Antarctica."================================================== ==============

Volcano Deep Down Could Be Melting Greenland’s Ice (http://www.medindia.net/news/Volcano-Deep-Down-Could-Be-Melting-Greenlands-Ice-30702-1.htm)


ANI, via MediaIndia
Saturday, December 15, 2007


A thin spot in the Earth's crust is enabling underground magma to melt Greenland’s ice, scientists at the Ohio State University feel.

According to them, the "hotspot" is located in the northeast corner of Greenland -- just below a site where an ice stream was recently discovered.

The researchers don't yet know how warm the hotspot is, but if it is warm enough to melt the ice above it even a little, it could enable the ice to slide more rapidly out to sea.

To measure actual temperatures beneath the ice, scientists will have to drill boreholes down to the base of the ice sheet-- a mile or more below the ice surface. The effort and expense make such measurements few and far between, especially in remote areas of northeast Greenland.

"The behaviour of the great ice sheets is an important barometer of global climate change," said Ralph von Frese, leader of the project and a professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University.

"However, to effectively separate and quantify human impacts on climate change, we must understand the natural impacts, too,” he added.

Von Frese's team combined gravity measurements of the area taken by a Naval Research Laboratory aircraft with airborne radar measurements taken by research partners at the University of Kansas.

The combined map revealed changes in mass beneath the Earth's crust, and the topography of the crust where it meets the ice sheet.

According to the researchers, below the earth’s crust is the mantle, the partially molten rocky layer that surrounds its core.

The mantle is so hot that temperatures just a few miles deep in the crust reach hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit, von Frese explained.

"It could be that there's a volcano down there. But we think it's probably just the way the heat is being distributed by the rock topography at the base of the ice," he said.

The ice thickness, the temperature at the base of the ice, and ground topography all contribute to the forming of an ice stream -- a river of ice that flows within a larger ice sheet.

In recent years, Greenland ice streams have been carrying ice out to sea faster, and ice cover on the island has been diminishing.

Once the ice reaches the sea, it melts, and global sea levels rise.

"Where the crust is thicker, things are cooler, and where it's thinner, things are warmer. And under a big place like Greenland or Antarctica, natural variations in the crust will make some parts of the ice sheet warmer than others," von Frese added.

The ice sheet in northeast Greenland is especially worrisome to scientists. It had no known ice streams until 1991, when satellites spied one for the first time.

Dubbed the Northeastern Greenland Ice Stream, it carries ice nearly 400 miles, from the deepest interior of the island out to the Greenland Sea.

The newly discovered hotspot is just below the ice stream, and could have caused it to form, the researchers concluded. But what caused the hotspot to form?

"It could be that there's a volcano down there. But we think it's probably just the way the heat is being distributed by the rock topography at the base of the ice," said von Frese.

Collaborator Kees van der Veen, a visiting associate professor of geological sciences and research scientist at Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State, said: "Our map is the first attempt at quantifying spatial variations in geo-heat under Greenland -- and it explains why the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream is where it is."

For now, the researchers are combining theories of how heat flows through the mantle and crust with the gravity and radar data, to understand how the hotspot is influencing the ice.

Once they finish searching the rest of Greenland for other hotspots, they hope to turn their attention to Antarctica.

Timothy Leftwich, von Frese's former student and now a post-doctoral engineer at the Centre for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets at the University of Kansas, presented the study's early results on Thursday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

================================================== ==============

Volcanic eruptions reshape Arctic ocean floor: study (http://sweetness-light.com/archive/could-volcanoes-be-melting-the-arctic-ice)


Agence France-Presse, via Sweetness and Light blog
Wed Jun 25


PARIS -- Recent massive volcanoes have risen from the ocean floor deep under the Arctic ice cap, spewing plumes of fragmented magma into the sea, scientists who filmed the aftermath reported Wednesday.

The eruptions — as big as the one that buried Pompei — took place in 1999 along the Gakkel Ridge, an underwater mountain chain snaking 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) from the northern tip of Greenland to Siberia.

Scientists suspected even at the time that a simultaneous series of earthquakes were linked to these volcanic spasms.

But when a team led of scientists led by Robert Sohn of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts finally got a first-ever glimpse of the ocean floor 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) beneath the Arctic pack ice, they were astonished.

What they saw was unmistakable evidence of explosive eruptions rather than the gradual secretion of lava bubbling up from Earth’s mantle onto the ocean floor…

The mid-ocean ridge runs 84,000 kilometres (52,000 miles) beneath all the world’s major seas except the Southern Ocean, and marks the boundary between many of the tectonic plates that make up the surface of the Earth.

When continental plates collide into each other, they can thrust up mountain ranges such as the Himalayas.

But along most of the mid-ocean ridge — including the Gakkal Ridge — the plates are pulling apart, allowing molten magna and gases trapped beneath the crust to escape…

Both sonar and visual images showed an ocean valley filled with flat-topped volcanos up to two kilometres (1.2 miles) wide and several hundred metres high.

Auburn Boy
02-02-2009, 02:24 PM
AGW..,

I hear the whisper again.

dharma
02-04-2009, 10:12 AM
Oops.

Going cold on Antarctic warming

Andrew Bolt

Wednesday, February 04, 2009 at 12:04am

Professor Eric Steig last month announced in Nature that he’d spotted a warming in West Antarctica that previous researchers had missed through slackness - a warming so strong that it more than made up for the cooling in East Antarctica.

Whew! Finally we had proof that Antarctica as a whole was warming, and not cooling, after all. Global warming really was global now.

The paper was immediately greeted with suspicion, not least because one of the authors was Michael Mann of the infamous “hockey stick”, now discredited, and the data was reconstructed from very sketchy weather station records, combined with assumptions from satellite observations.

But Steve McIntyre, who did most to expose Mann’s “hockey stick”, now notices a far more embarrassing problem with Steig’s paper.

Previous researchers hadn’t overlooked the data. What they’d done was to ignore data from four West Antarctic automatic weather stations in particular that didn’t meet their quality control. As you can see above, one shows no warming, two show insignificant warming and fourth - from a station dubbed “Harry” shows a sharp jump in temperature that helped Steig and his team discover their warming Antarctic.

Uh oh.

Harry in fact is a problematic site that was buried in snow for years and then re-sited in 2005. But, worse, the data that Steig used in his modelling which he claimed came from Harry was actually old data from another station on the Ross Ice Shelf known as Gill with new data from Harry added to it, producing the abrupt warming. The data is worthless. Or as McIntyre puts it:

Considered by itself, Gill has a slightly negative trend from 1987 to 2002. The big trend in “New Harry” arises entirely from the impact of splicing the two data sets together. It’s a mess.

Read this link and this to see McIntyre’s superb forensic work.

Why wasn’t this error picked up earlier? Perhaps because the researchers got the results they’d hoped for, and no alarm bell went off that made them check. Now, wait for the papers to report the error with the zeal with which they reported Steig’s “warming”.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/going_cold_on_antarctic_warming/

Mousehound
02-05-2009, 04:46 PM
http://www.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/RonneFichner.jpg
A digital image of what Antarctica would look like if it consisted only of land actually above sea level.

If global warming some day causes the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to collapse, as many experts believe it could, the resulting sea level rise in much of the United States and other parts of the world would be significantly higher than is currently projected, a new study concludes.

The catastrophic increase in sea level, already projected to average between 16 and 17 feet around the world, would be almost 21 feet in such places as Washington, D.C., scientists say, putting it largely underwater. Many coastal areas would be devastated. Much of Southern Florida would disappear.

The report will be published Friday in the journal Science, by researchers from Oregon State University and the University of Toronto. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and other agencies from the U.S. and Canada.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that a collapse of this ice sheet would raise sea levels around the world by about 16.5 feet, on average, and that figure is still widely used. However, that theoretical average does not consider several key forces, such as gravity, changes in the Earth's rotation or a rebound of the land on which the massive glacier now rests, scientists say in the new study.

Right now, this ice sheet has a huge mass, towering more than 6,000 feet above sea level over a large section of Antarctica. This mass is sufficient to exert a substantial gravitational attraction, researchers say, pulling water toward it - much as the gravitational forces of the sun and moon cause the constant movement of water on Earth commonly known as tides.

And aside from incorporating the gravitational effect, the new study adds further wrinkles to the calculation - the weight of the ice forcing down the land mass on which it sits, and also affecting the orientation of the Earth's spin. When the ice is removed, it appears the underlying land would rebound, and the Earth's axis of rotation defined by the North and South Pole would actually shift about one-third of a mile, also affecting the sea level at various points.

And aside from incorporating the gravitational effect, the new study adds further wrinkles to the calculation - the weight of the ice forcing down the land mass on which it sits, and also affecting the orientation of the Earth's spin. When the ice is removed, it appears the underlying land would rebound, and the Earth's axis of rotation defined by the North and South Pole would actually shift about one-third of a mile, also affecting the sea level at various points.

It's still unclear, Clark said, when or if a breakup of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet might occur, or how fast it could happen. It may not happen for hundreds of years, he said, and even then it may not melt in its entirety. Research should continue to better understand the forces at work, he said.

A significant part of the concern is that much of the base of this huge ice mass actually sits below sea level, forced down to the bedrock by the sheer weight of the ice above it. Its edges flow out into floating ice shelves, including the huge Ross Ice Shelf and Ronne Ice Shelf. This topography makes it "inherently unstable," Clark said.

Full article here:
http://www.physorg.com/news153066381.html

caonacl
02-07-2009, 12:04 PM
OSU prof cites gravity factor in Antarctic ice melt

05:35 PM PST on Friday, February 6, 2009

By KEELEY CHALMERS, kgw.com

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- For years studies have shown global warming could cause sea levels to rise.

But now groundbreaking research from a University of Oregon professor shows sea levels could likely rise much more than we ever imagined.
OSU Geosciences professor Peter Clark shows us what he projects will happen as global warming continues to melt glaciers and sea levels continue to rise.

“This is one of these collapses of ice shelves that has been going on,” said Clark.

Up until recently, scientists largely believed that the melting of ice in Antarctica and other areas would raise the sea level by about 16 feet.

But Clark says it's going to be much worse.

“It’s not going to be like a bathtub where the water rise uniformly up the bathtub,” stated Clark. Instead, Clark believes, in some areas, sea levels will rise significantly more. “In some places its going to rise up to 30 percent more than what people have been conventionally thinking about,” he said.

Clark and his colleagues from the University of Toronto based their findings on several factors. For one, he says, as Antarctic ice sheets melt, their gravitational pull on the ocean water is reduced.

That water is then free to flow elsewhere. Clark also believes, as the ice sheets disappear, it will cause a shift in the earth’s rotation, pushing water north. “North America tends to be in the bullseye,” stated Clark.

And Oregon will be one of the hardest hit. Coastal communities now at sea level could be submerged. Even Portland could be affected.

“So now your looking at about 22 feet of sea level rise in Portland for the worst case scenario,” explained Clark.

A worst case scenario that could be centuries away from happening. But it’s a scenario Clark says all Oregonians should consider.
“They have to plan for an increase in sea level in the future - its going to happen,” he said.

Clark says there is no way of knowing how far into the future this could happen. But he points out over the last 150 years sea level has gone up by about four feet. And it continues to rise.

http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_020609_environment_sea_levels_osu.274ec602.htm l

Ought Six
02-07-2009, 10:33 PM
That famous consensus (http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3332616/that-famous-consensus.thtml)


Melanie Phillips
The Spectator
Saturday, 7th February 2009


Yet another example of the ‘research’ masquerading as science that is used to reinforce the man-made global warming fraud. One of the difficulties the green zealots have had is that Antarctica has been not warming but cooling, with the extent of its ice reaching record levels. A few weeks ago, a study led by Professor Eric Steig caused some excitement by claiming that actually West Antarctica was warming so much that it more than made up for the cooling in East Antarctica. Warning bells should have sounded when Steig saidWhat we did is interpolate carefully instead of just using the back of an envelope.

To those of us who have been following this scam for the past two decades, ‘interpolate carefully’ makes us suck our teeth. And so it has proved. Various scientists immediately spotted the flaw in Steig’s methodology of combining satellite evidence since 1979 with temperature readings from surface weather stations. The flaw they identified was that, since Antarctica has so few weather stations, the computer Steig used was programmed to guess what data they would have produced had such stations existed. In other words, the findings that caused such excitement were based on data that had been made up.

Even one of the IPCC’s lead authors sniffed a problem:‘This looks like a pretty good analysis, but I have to say I remain somewhat skeptical,’ Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research said in an e-mail. ‘It is hard to make data where none exist.’

Well, yes. But then the invention of data that does not exist and the obliteration of data that does exist has been precisely how the man-made global warming scam has been perpetrated right from the get-go. The most egregious example of this was the piece of ‘research’ that underpinned the entire IPCC/Kyoto shebang from 2001 when it was published -- the so-called ‘hockey stick’ curve, which purported to show a vertiginous and unprecedented rise in global temperature in the 20th century.

The problem with pegging such a rise to the evils of industrialisation had always been the Medieval Warm Period, during which global temperatures were warmer than in modern times. So the ‘hockey stick’ study dealt with that by simply managing to airbrush out the Medieval Warm Period and its subsequent corrective Little Ice Age altogether. Some seven centuries of global history were simply excised from the data -- because an algorithm had been built into the computer programme which would have created a ‘hockey stick’ curve whatever data were fed into it.

This shoddy research was subsequently torn apart so comprehensively that it has been called the most discredited study in the history of science (and has been quietly dropped by the IPCC, leaving man-made global warming theory with no more substance than the grin on the face of the Cheshire Cat. Go here, here and here for a history of the titanic battle that ensued over its unmasking). The creator of this discredited ‘hockey stick’ curve was Michael Mann. And guess what? Michael Mann was a co-author of the Steig study of Antarctica.‘Contrarians have sometime grabbed on to this idea that the entire continent of Antarctica is cooling, so how could we be talking about global warming,’ said study co-author Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. ‘Now we can say: no, it's not true ... It is not bucking the trend.’

And now as Andrew Bolt has noted Steve McIntyre, who with Ross McKitrick uncovered the ‘hockey-stick’ nonsense in the first place, has delivered the coup de grace to the Steig/Mann Antarctica claim. Steig used data from a weather station called Harry. Bolt observes:Harry in fact is a problematic site that was buried in snow for years and then re-sited in 2005. But, worse, the data that Steig used in his modelling which he claimed came from Harry was actually old data from another station on the Ross Ice Shelf known as Gill with new data from Harry added to it, producing the abrupt warming. The data is worthless. Or as McIntyre puts it:Considered by itself, Gill has a slightly negative trend from 1987 to 2002. The big trend in ‘New Harry’ arises entirely from the impact of splicing the two data sets together. It’s a mess.
With their reputations thus disappearing faster than the snows of Kilimanjaro, the zealots have become hysterical. Mann attacks a prominent sceptic, Lawrence Solomon, for citing the scientists’ criticisms of the Antarctica study, and is in turn answered by Solomon -- an exchange reproduced in Canada’s Financial Post, for which Solomon writes, here and here. Mann repeatedly accuses Solomon of lying. In doing so, he has left himself dramatically exposed. Claiming that Solomonrepeatedly lies about my work

he cites as evidence of this that his ‘hockey stick’ study wasvindicated in a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

and seeks to back up this assertion by citing the way the media reported this study as‘Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate’ (New York Times), ‘Backing for Hockey Stick Graph’ (BBC), and so on.

This is, to put it mildly, disingenuous. While it is certainly true that the media reported it in this sheep-like way -- thanks in part to the manner in which the NAS chose circumspectly to spin its own conclusions -- it is nevertheless the case that in every important particular the NAS actually agreed with the McIntyre/McKitrick criticisms. Far from vindicating the ‘hockey stick’ graph, the NAS said that although it found some of Mann’s work ‘plausible’, there were so many scientific uncertainties attached to it that it did not have great confidence in it. Thus it said thatMann et al. used a type of principal component analysis that tends to bias the shape of the reconstructions

and that they had downplayed theuncertainties of the published reconstructions...Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium.’

What Mann also does not say in his diatribe is that a subsequent House Energy and Commerce Committee report chaired by Edward Wegman totally destroyed the credibility of the ‘hockey stick’ study and devastatingly ripped apart Mann’s methodology as ‘bad mathematics’. Furthermore, when Gerald North, the chairman of the NAS panel -- which Mann claims ‘vindicated him’ – and panel member Peter Bloomfield were asked at the House Committee hearings whether or not they agreed with Wegman’s harsh criticisms, they said they did: CHAIRMAN BARTON. Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?

DR. NORTH. No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report.

DR. BLOOMFIELD. Our committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his co-workers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

WALLACE: ‘the two reports were complementary, and to the extent that they overlapped, the conclusions were quite consistent.’ (Am Stat Assoc.)

As Mark Twain might have put it, there are three kinds of lies -- lies, damned lies and global warming science.

Mousehound
02-10-2009, 08:48 AM
(PhysOrg.com) -- More than 50 top international polar scientists will meet at Victoria University of Wellington this week to discuss their cutting-edge climate change research.

The focus will be establishing models that explain how Antarctica’s ice sheets have behaved in Earth’s recent past and explore how they may change in the future.

For several years, scientists from Italy, Germany, New Zealand and the United States have been studying a 1300 metre-long rock core recovered by the multinational ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) programme from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

The core was recovered in 2006 by a team of drillers and engineers from Antarctica New Zealand, who drilled through the ice to a record-setting depth.

The rock core contains valuable evidence of how Antarctica’s ice sheets and climate have changed over time and scientists use this information to learn what is likely to happen to Antarctica’s ice masses in the future and determine how these changes might affect the world’s climate and sea level.

Professor Tim Naish, Director of Victoria’s Antarctic Research Centre, and Professor Ross Powell from Northern Illinois University in the United States are Co-Chief Scientists of the collaborative research project.

Professor Naish says the workshop from 10 to 13 February is the culmination of many years of intensive work and new discoveries by a huge team of scientists, engineers, drillers, and educators.

He says Antarctica’s ice sheets have grown and collapsed at least 40 times over the past five million years.

“Much of our research has focused on the time interval from three to five million years ago. This period in Earth’s history is extremely relevant as it represents a global climate analogue to that projected for our very near future.”

“So far results from our studies on this extraordinary archive of Antarctica’s environmental history are providing critical new insights into past changes in Antarctica’s most vulnerable element: the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. If this ice mass were to melt, global sea-level would rise up to 5 metres - our world would be a very different place.”

Dr Richard Levy of GNS Science, Project Staff Scientist and workshop convenor says the workshop provides a rare opportunity for us to review all aspects of research carried out during the project - work by some of the world’s best polar earth scientists.

“This is a chance to combine our findings and take a huge step forward in our understanding of the Antarctic ice sheet’s response to global climate change.”

Scientists will spend the four days sharing results and debating models and interpretations. A key aim is to establish a strategy to deliver key results to the broader scientific community, general public, and policy makers.

Provided by Victoria University
http://www.physorg.com/news153408758.html

caonacl
02-12-2009, 06:19 PM
The big melt (http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2009/2/9/101428/4863)

West Antarctic ice-sheet collapse means more catastrophe for U.S. coasts

Posted by Joseph Romm (http://gristmill.grist.org/user/Joseph%20Romm)

(http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgristmill.grist.org%2Fstor y%2F2009%2F2%2F9%2F101428%2F4863&title=The%20big%20melt)
http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/slr-6m.jpg (https://www.cresis.ku.edu/research/data/sea_level_rise/jpeg/southeastern_us/southeastern_us_6m.jpg)
The fate of Florida and Louisiana if we're myopic and greedy enough to let the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse (click to see entire SE coast).
A new study in Science finds that sea-level rise from a collapse of the WAIS would likely be 25 percent higher for North America than previously estimated (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205142132.htm):
The catastrophic increase in sea level, already projected to average between 16 and 17 feet around the world, would be almost 21 feet in such places as Washington, D.C., scientists say, putting it largely underwater. Many coastal areas would be devastated. Much of Southern Florida would disappear.This article has already started to make news around the globe (Reuters story here (http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE51472Q20090205?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews)). But, frankly, divining the difference between a rise of 16.5 feet (an incalculably devastating catastrophe) and 21 feet (an incalculably devastating catastrophe) is like trying to count the number of devils on a pin.
Nonetheless, WAIS collapse is all but inevitable given business-as-usual warming of 5-7°C (http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/12/22/1111/3775). As I explained in my book:
Perhaps the most important, and worrisome, fact about the WAIS is that it is fundamentally far less stable than the Greenland ice sheet because most of it is grounded far below sea level.For a longer discussion of WAIS and its unique instability, see "Antarctica has warmed significantly over past 50 years (http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2009/1/22/154257/124)."
So what is new in the Science article, "The Sea-Level Fingerprint of West Antarctic Collapse (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/323/5915/753)" ($ub. req'd)? Study coauthor and geophysicist Jerry X. Mitrovica, director of the Earth System Evolution Program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, explains:


The typical estimate of the sea-level change is five metres, a value arrived at by taking the total volume of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, converting it to water and spreading it evenly across the oceans. However, this estimate is far too simplified because it ignores three significant effects:

When an ice sheet melts, its gravitational pull on the ocean is reduced and water moves away from it. The net effect is that the sea level actually falls within 2,000 km of a melting ice sheet, and rises progressively further away from it. If the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapses, sea level will fall close to the Antarctic and will rise much more than the expected estimate in the northern hemisphere because of this gravitational effect;
The depression in the Antarctic bedrock that currently sits under the weight of the ice sheet will become filled with water if the ice sheet collapses. However, the size of this hole will shrink as the region rebounds after the ice disappears, pushing some of the water out into the ocean, and this effect will further contribute to the sea-level rise;
The melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will actually cause the Earth's rotation axis to shift rather dramatically -- approximately 500 metres from its present position if the entire ice sheet melts. This shift will move water from the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans northward toward North America and into the southern Indian Ocean.
And this all means that if WAIS collapses, "the rise in sea levels around many coastal regions will be as much as 25 per cent more than expected, for a total of between six and seven metres if the whole ice sheet melts."
A digital animation of various sea-level rise scenarios up to six metres is here (http://www.cresis.ku.edu/research/data/sea_level_rise).
The time to act is now.



http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2009/2/9/101428/4863/

caonacl
02-25-2009, 07:21 AM
Study: Antarctic glaciers slipping swiftly seaward

By ELIANE ENGELER – 59 minutes ago
GENEVA (AP) — Antarctic glaciers are melting faster than previously thought, which could lead to an unprecedented rise in sea levels, scientists said Wednesday.

A report by thousands of scientists for the 2007-2008 International Polar Year concluded that the western part of the continent is warming up, not just the Antarctic Peninsula.

Previously most of the warming was thought to occur on the narrow stretch pointing toward South America, said Colin Summerhayes, executive director of the Britain-based Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and a member of International Polar Year's steering committee.

Satellite data and automated weather stations indicate that "the warming we see in the peninsula also extends all the way down to what is called west Antarctica," he told The Associated Press. "That's unusual and unexpected."

During the International Polar Year, thousands of scientists from more than 60 countries engaged in intense Arctic and Antarctic research over the past two southern summer seasons — on the ice, at sea, and via icebreaker, submarine and surveillance satellite.

The biggest western Antarctic glacier, the Pine Island Glacier, is moving 40 percent faster than it was in the 1970s, discharging water and ice more rapidly into the ocean, Summerhayes said.

The Smith Glacier, also in western Antarctica, is moving 83 percent faster than it did in 1992, he said.

All the glaciers in the area together lose a total of around 114 billion tons per year because the discharge is much greater than the new snowfall, Summerhayes said.

"That's equivalent to the current mass loss from the whole of the Greenland ice sheet," he said, adding that the glaciers' discharge was making a significant contribution to the rise in sea levels. "We didn't realize it was moving that fast."

Antarctica's average annual temperature has increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1957, but is still 50 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, according to a recent study by Eric Steig of the University of Washington.

Summerhayes said the glaciers were slipping into the sea faster because the floating ice shelf that would stop them — usually 656 to 984 feet thick — is melting.
Sea levels will rise faster than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Summerhayes said.

An IPCC panel in 2007 predicted warmer temperatures could raise sea levels by 30 to 50 inches this century, which could flood low-lying areas and force millions to flee.
"If the west Antarctica sheet collapses, then we're looking at a sea level rise of between 1 meter and 1.5 meters (approximately 3 to 5 feet)," Summerhayes said.
The IPY researchers found that the southern ocean around Antarctica has warmed about 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit in the past decade, double the average warming of the rest of the Earth's oceans over the past 30 years, he said.

The warming of western Antarctica is a real concern Summerhayes said. "There's some people who fear that this is the first signs of an incipient collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hJ-62rD3AVr6zA422y7R7bTiQP-wD96IIIGG0

caonacl
02-25-2009, 07:24 AM
RE: Post above

Maybe it's just me, but when I heard the report that NASA lost a satellite over Anarctica, the 1st thing I thought was that someone was trying to cover-up an investigation into a serious concern.