Algal blooms may be accelerating Greenland's melt rate
Scientists are “very worried” that the Greenland ice sheet might start to melt “faster and faster”, a leading scientist has said. The problem is that the warmer weather is allowing more dark algae to grow on the ice. Because ice is white, it reflects much of the sun’s energy, but dark algae absorb the heat, increasing the rate of melting.
Massive chunk of Larsen C ice shelf breaks off
Scientists announced Wednesday that a much anticipated break at the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica has occurred, unleashing a massive iceberg that is more than 2,200 square miles in area and weighs a trillion tons. In other words, the iceberg — among the largest in recorded history to splinter off the Antarctic continent — is close to the size of Delaware and consists of almost four times as much ice as the fast melting ice sheet of Greenland loses in a year. It is expected to be given the name “A68” soon, scientists said.
Greenland melt now accounts for 25 percent of sea level rise
Global sea level rise is accelerating as the Greenland Ice Sheet sheds more of its ice, scientists have found. Given this quickening pace, it's possible that by the end of this century, sea level rise could threaten coastal communities around the world, from Miami to Mumbai. Whereas global ice mass loss constituted 50 percent of sea level rise in 1993, this rose to 70 percent in 2014. The study found that the largest increase came from the Greenland Ice Sheet, which made up just 5 percent of the global mean sea level rise rate in 1993, and now constitutes 25 percent of it.
Sea ice melts to record lows at both poles
Arctic temperatures have finally started to cool off after yet another winter heat wave stunted sea ice growth. The repeated bouts of warm weather this season have stunned even seasoned polar researchers, and could push the Arctic to a record low winter peak for the third year in a row. Meanwhile, Antarctic sea ice set an all-time record low in a dramatic reversal from the record highs of recent years. Sea ice at both poles has been expected to decline as the planet heats up from the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Huge rift opens in Antarctica
A huge iceberg expected to be one of the biggest ever recorded is poised to break off Antarctica, changing the landscape of the frozen continent, scientists say. The massive sheet of ice with an area of almost the size of the US state of Delaware has been developing a crack across the most northern ice shelf, Larsen C on the Antarctic Peninsula, over the past few years. Ice shelves are areas of ice floating on the sea, several hundred metres thick, at the end of glaciers.
Scientists: Arctic meltdown could trigger "ucontrollable" climate impacts
Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe. The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean, in a stark warning that changes in the region could cause uncontrollable climate change at a global level. Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20 C above what would be expected for this time of year, which scientists describe as “off the charts”. Sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year.
Shifting vortex yields longer winters
Global warming could be making winters in eastern North America even longer. Because of sea ice loss in the Arctic, the polar vortex is shifting and temperatures are turning colder during March. The polar vortex is the zone of frigid air that encircles the Arctic and is most pronounced during winter. Occasionally, it fragments and pieces of it plunge into eastern North America carrying bitter cold air. The winters of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 witnessed several such polar vortex disintegrations and resulted in record-setting cold snaps. A new study found the vortex has changed position while weakening over the past three decades. The net result has been to increase delivery of cold air into parts of Eurasia and North America, particularly in late winter and early spring.
Arctic sea ice shrinks to second lowest level in 2016
Arctic sea ice this summer shrank to its second lowest level since scientists started to monitor it by satellite, with scientists saying it is another ominous signal of global warming. The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado said the sea ice reached its summer low point on Saturday, extending 4.14m sq km (1.6m sq miles). That’s behind only the mark set in 2012, 3.39m sq km.
Hurdling pace of Arctic meltdown startles scientists
“We’ve lost about twice the size of the state of Alaska in terms of area. [The sea ice] isalso thinning as well, we’ve lost about 50 percent of the thickness. And this is happening more rapidly than even the most aggressive climate models., said NASA scientist Walt Meier.
WAIS melting seen accelerating
The West Antarctic ice sheet, larger than Mexico, is thought to be potentially vulnerable to disintegration from a relatively small amount of global warming, and capable of raising the sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up. But researchers long assumed the worst effects would take hundreds — if not thousands — of years to occur. Now, new research suggests the disaster scenario could play out much sooner.
Arctic sea ice shrinks to new low
Earth's Arctic ocean freezer is making fewer ice cubes, and that could be a problem throughout the Northern Hemisphere, researchers at the National Snow and Ice Data Center are warning. The center reported Monday that the spread of Arctic sea ice set a new record low for the second straight year, stopping last week at 5.607 million square miles. That's 5,000 square miles less than last year's record low, as observed by satellites, and 431,000 square miles less than the average for winters between 1981 and 2010, the center said. "The Arctic is in crisis. Year by year, it's slipping into a new state, and it's hard to see how that won't have an effect on weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere," said Ted Scambos, a lead scientist at the center.
Feedback loop darkens Greenland's reflective surface
Greenland’s vast ice sheet is in the grip of a dramatic “feedback loop” where the surface has been getting darker and less reflective of the sun, helping accelerate the melting of ice and fuelling sea level rises, new research has found. The snowy surface of Greenland started becoming significantly less reflective of solar radiation from around 1996, the analysis found, with the ice absorbing 2% more solar energy per decade from this point. At the same time, summer near-surface temperatures in Greenland have increased at a rate of around 0.74C per decade, causing the ice to melt.
Greenland losing its ability to contain meltwater
A new scientific study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, is warning that climate change may be affecting the vast Greenland ice sheet more seriously than previously thought. Traditionally the huge Greenland ice sheet, which NASA estimates is losing an estimated 287 billion tons of ice every year, has also been seen by scientists as a “sponge” for glacier meltwater. But new research has found that the ice sheet could be losing this ability to act as a sponge.
Greenland opens new "floodgate" into the ocean
Another major glacier appears to have begun a rapid retreat into a deep underwater basin, a troubling sign previously noticed at Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier and also in the Amundsen Sea region of West Antarctica. Warm ocean waters reaching the deep bases of marine glaciers appears to be a major cause. The new fast-moving glacier is the Zachariae glacier or Zachariæ Isstrøm, located in the far northeastern part of Greenland. Since 2012, the glacier has lost fully 95 percent of the ice shelf that used to help stabilize it, they say, and now sports a 75 meter high ice cliff extending above the water (the glacier also extends hundreds of additional meters below it).
Meltdown of Larsen C ice shelf accelerates
An Antarctic ice shelf that is twice the size of Hawaii is at “imminent risk” of collapse and needs to be monitored carefully, a new study finds. The ice shelf—Larsen C—is located in roughly the same geography as the Larsen A and B ice shelves, which disintegrated in 1995 and 2002, respectively. Larsen C covers 19,300 square miles and is the largest shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. If it melts, it could significantly raise global sea levels.
Abrupt changes in Arctic show in Antarctica 200 years later
The most detailed Antarctic ice core provides the first clear comparison with Greenland records, revealing a link between northern and southern hemisphere climate change. Abrupt and large temperature changes first occurred in Greenland, with the effect delayed about 200 years in the Antarctic. "Our new results show unambiguously that the Antarctic changes happen after the rapid temperature changes in Greenland. It is a major advance to know that the Earth behaves in this particular way," said a co-author of the paper.
Rapid Antarctic ice shelve thaw could hasten collapse of massive ice sheets
The ice around the edge of Antarctica is melting faster than previously thought, potentially unlocking metres of sea-level rise in the long-term, researchers have warned. Scientists looked at 18 years’ worth of satellite data and found the floating ice shelves that skirt the continent are losing 310km3 of ice every year. The ice shelves act like a cork in a bottle at the point where glaciers meet the sea – jamming the flow of ice from the massive ice sheets of east and west Antarctica. One researcher said the rates of ice loss were unsustainable and could cause a major collapse.
Winter Arctic Sea ice is smallest on record
Arctic sea ice this year is the smallest in winter since satellite records began in 1979, in a new sign of long-term climate change, U.S. data showed. The ice floating on the Arctic Ocean around the North Pole reached its maximum annual extent of just 14.54 million square kms (5.61 million sq miles) on Feb. 25 - slightly bigger than Canada - and is now expected to shrink with a spring thaw. With the return of the sun to the Arctic after months of winter darkness, the ice shrinks to a minimum in September.
Scientists find rapid thinning of East Antarctic Ice Sheet
A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabilized the great ice sheet of West Antarctice, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise. Meanwhile, 2015 could be the year of the double whammy — when we learned the same about one gigantic glacier of East Antarctica, which could set in motion roughly the same amount all over again.
Annual ice melt triggers bigger rebounds in Iceland
Parts of Iceland are rising, and the culprit may be climate change. GPS measurements show that land in the central and southern parts of Iceland have been rising at a faster pace every year, beginning at about the same time as the onset of the ever-increasing melt of the island's ice due to rising temperatures. That uplift could in turn affect Iceland’s volcanoes and hasten eruptions.
WAIS sheds one "Mt. Everest" every two years
The West Antarctic’s splintering chain of ice sheets is splintering much faster than scientists anticipated. The melting rate tripled in the past decade. Since 1992, the researchers found, the loss rate accelerated by 6.1 gigatons per year. Between 2003 and 2009, that rate nearly tripled to 16.3 gigatons per year. That surge in the melt rate means the region, in the past 21 years, shed a Mount Everest-sized amount of ice every two years.
Dark Greenland ice could trigger "cascading feedback loop"
Tibet glaciers warmer than any point in past 2,000 years
The world’s leading expert on the ice that covers the huge expanse of Greenland has told The Independent that he was “stunned” to see how much darker it has become in the past year – warning it could start a hugely damaging “cascading feedback loop.” This darkening further warms the ground – and in turn, the atmosphere – and causes more melting. And so the pattern escalates.The darkening we have seen in the Greenland ice sheet over the past 12 months means it will absorb huge quantities of additional energy this year – enough to satisfy the annual US electricity consumption twice over
The Tibetan plateau, whose glaciers supply water to hundreds of millions of people in Asia, were warmer over the past 50 years than at any stage in the past two millennia. Temperatures and humidity are likely to continue to rise throughout this century, causing glaciers to retreat and desertification to spread, according to the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research. Glacier retreat could disrupt water supply to several of Asia's main rivers that originate from the plateau, including China's Yellow and Yangtze, India's Brahmaputra, and the Mekong and Salween in Southeast Asia.
Warming-driven fires seen accelerating Greenland meltdown
New research indicates that Greenland’s main color may be starting to fade and in fact darken, though, thanks to a widespread increase of dust across the ice sheets. That darkening, especially from forest fires, could speed up surface melt, and with it, sea level rise around the globe. Recent research has suggested that melt is increasing along the ice sheet’s edges where glaciers flow out to the sea. That melt already accounts for about 30 percent of current sea level rise, which has been 8 inches since the 1880s, though the rate has been increasing in recent decades. The new research indicates that the glow might be fading, particularly in the springtime since 2009, because of an increase in dust and soot.
WAIS glacier meltdown is unstoppable: study
Parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are already collapsing and probably can't be saved. Two independent studies suggest that several glaciers have gone past the point of no return, dooming them to fall into the sea and cause several metres of sea level rise. However the collapse will take centuries. A study predicts that the Thwaites glacier of the ice sheet will collapse completely within 200 to 1000 years, raising global sea levels by about 60 centimetres. Because the Thwaites glacier keeps much of the rest of the WAIS in check, its disappearance could destabilise the entire sheet, releasing enough ice to raise sea levels by a further 3 to 4 metres.
Rapid ice loss from north Greenland glacier startles scientists
For years researchers believed the glaciers in the frigid northeast section of Greenland, which connect to the interior of the country’s massive ice sheet, were resistant to the effects of climate change that have affected so much of the Arctic. But new data published Sunday in Nature Climate Change reveals that over the past decade, the region has started rapidly losing ice due to a rise in air and ocean temperatures caused in part by climate change. The increased melt raises grave concerns that sea level rise could accelerate even faster than projected, threatening even more coastal communities worldwide.
Mount Stanley shedding ice at "disturbing" rate
At 5,109 metres (16,763 feet), Mount Stanley's jagged peak is the third highest mountain in Africa, topped only by Mount Kenya and Tanzania's iconic Kilimanjaro. But experts warn the ice is melting at "disturbing" rates, and that within two decades Africa's equatorial peaks will be bare rock, impacting agriculture and tourism.
Massive Antarctic glacier meltdown will not stabilize
Antarctica's mighty Pine Island Glacier (PIG) is now very probably in a headlong, self-sustaining retreat. This is the conclusion of three teams that have modelled its behaviour. Even if the region were to experience much colder conditions, the retreat would continue, the teams tell the journal Nature Climate Change. This means PIG is set to become an even more significant contributor to global sea level rise - on the order of perhaps 3.5-10mm in the next 20 years.
Ice loss is pushing Antarctica sideways
Billions of tons of ice being lost in West Antarctica each year is causing the region to be pushed sideways by sturdier bedrock in the East Antarctica region. Satellite measurements of the continent reveal that the West Antarctic bedrock is being pushed sideways at a rate of up to 12 millimeters (about 0.5 inches) each year. Terry Wilson, professor of earth sciences at Ohio State, said that while it may not seem like much, 12 millimeters is quite dramatic when compared to landmass shifts in other parts of the world.
Arctic thaw fuels extreme events further south: study
A thaw of Arctic ice and snow is linked to worsening summer heatwaves and downpours thousands of miles south in Europe, the United States and other areas, underlying the scale of the threat posed by global warming, scientists said. Their report, which was dismissed as inconclusive by some other experts, warned of increasingly extreme weather across "much of North America and Eurasia where billions of people will be affected".
Antarctica loses Chicago-sized iceberg
A massive iceberg, larger than the city of Chicago, broke off of Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier on Monday and is now floating freely in the Amundsen Sea, according to a team of German scientists. The newborn iceberg measures about 278 square miles (720 square kilometers), and was seen by TerraSAR-X, an earth-observing satellite operated by the German Space Agency (DLR). Scientists with NASA's Operation IceBridge first discovered a giant crack in the Pine Island Glacier in October 2011, as they were flying over and surveying the sprawling ice sheet.
NASA: warming oceans are driving Antarctic ice shelf meltdown
Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves are responsible for most of the continent's ice shelf mass loss, a new study by NASA and university researchers has found. While scientists have assumed most melting results from iceberg calving, the study finds that underwater melting from warming waters accounted for 55 percent of all Antarctic ice shelf mass loss from 2003 to 2008, an amount much higher than previously thought.
1600 hundred-year-old Andes ice melted in 25 years
Glacial ice in the Peruvian Andes that took at least 1,600 years to form has melted in just 25 years, scientists reported Thursday, the latest indication that the recent spike in global temperatures has thrown the natural world out of balance. The evidence comes from a remarkable find at the margins of the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru, the world’s largest tropical ice sheet. Rapid melting there in the modern era is uncovering plants that were locked in a deep freeze when the glacier advanced many thousands of years ago.
Arctic meltdown has global impacts
Most of the sea ice that forms each fall and winter in the Arctic now melts each spring and summer, a recent change that is impacting global patterns of weather and trade as well as the U.S. military's strategic planning, experts told reporters during a briefing. Experts noted that the prospect of ice-free summers in the Arctic as soon as 2030 is already impacting international trade and U.S. Navy plans to protect Arctic resources.
Andean glaciers melting faster than in last 300 years
Climate change has shrunk Andean glaciers between 30 and 50 percent since the 1970s and could melt many of them away altogether in coming years, according to a study published on Tuesday in the journal The Cryosphere. Andean glaciers, a vital source of fresh water for tens of millions of South Americans, are retreating at their fastest rates in more than 300 years, according to the most comprehensive review of Andean ice loss so far.
West Antarctica melting twice as fast as projected
West Antarctic temperatures are rising twice as fast as previously estimated, according to new research published in Nature Geoscience. Temperature records compiled from the Byrd Research Station show that since 1958, the region has seen average temperature increases of 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3 degrees Fahrenheit). That poses a danger of causing sea levels to rise even faster than previously predicted.
Arctic meltdown sets new record
The Arctic lost more snow and sea ice between October 2011 and August 2012 than any year other on record, a premier US science agency reported Wednesday, delivering the fullest picture to date of a region in the throes of rapid, system-wide change. The Arctic lost record snow cover and sea ice last year – even though air temperatures were not unusually high. By the end of August, several weeks before the end of the summer melt season, Arctic sea ice had retreated to its smallest extent since satellite records began in 1979.
Speed of sea level rise outpaces earlier projections
The polar ice sheets are indeed shrinking—and fast, according to a comprehensive new study on climate change. And the effects, according to an international team, are equally clear—sea levels are rising faster than predicted. Rising seas would increase the risk of catastrophic flooding like that caused by Hurricane Sandy last month in New York and New Jersey. Environmental damage may include widespread erosion, contamination of aquifers and crops, and harm to marine life. And in the long term, rising seas may force hundreds of millions of people who live along the coast to abandon their homes.
Record Arctic Sea Ice Melt Startles Scientists
Sea ice in the Arctic shrunk a dramatic 18% this year on the previous record set in 2007 to a record low of 3.41m sq km, according to the official US monitoring organisation the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado. Scientists and environment groups last night said the fall was unprecedented and the clearest signal yet of climate change. This year's sea ice extent was 700,000 sq km below the previous minimum of 4.17m sq km set in 2007.
Speed of previous ice sheet changes startles scientists
How high and how fast sea level will rise is a crucial question for the coming century, and it all depends on how fast the giant ice sheets atop Greenland and Antarctica melt back and slide into the ocean as the planet warms. To try and figure out how rapidly ice sheets respond to climate change, scientists look to the ancient past — and a new paper in Science says that ice can respond a lot faster than anyone had thought.
Arctic sea ice melt expected to trigger extreme winters
The record loss of Arctic sea ice this summer will echo throughout the weather patterns affecting the U.S. and Europe this winter, climate scientists said, since added heat in the Arctic influences the jet stream and may make extreme weather and climate events more likely.
Patagonian glaciers suffer accelerating melt rate
Ice fields in southern South America are rapidly losing volume and in most cases thinning at even the highest elevations, contributing to sea-level rise at "substantially higher" rates than observed from the 1970s through the 1990s.
Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Smallest Area on Record
The ice cap covering the top of the world is now smaller than it has been at any point since scientists started to measure it precisely from space. Satellite data released last night show that the sea ice floating on the Arctic Ocean has reached a record low, retreating further than it has done since detailed records began more than 30 years ago. The US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado said that the 2007 record was broken on Sunday with two or three weeks of the melt season still remaining, suggesting that this year's sea ice will retreat substantially further than at any time in the satellite era.
Speed of Greenland Melt Shocks Scientists
The Greenland ice sheet melted at a faster rate this month than at any other time in recorded history, with virtually the entire ice sheet showing signs of thaw.The rapid melting over just four days was captured by three satellites. It has stunned and alarmed scientists, and deepened fears about the pace and future consequences of climate change. In a statement posted on Nasa's website on Tuesday, scientists admitted the satellite data was so striking they thought at first there had to be a mistake.
Five-Mile-Long Glacial Landslide Seen as A Signal of Warming
A massive landslide sent tons of rock and debris tumbling more than five miles down a glacier in Alaska, the National Park Service reported in an event that could be yet another sign of a warming world. Located in a remote area of Glacier Bay National Park, the slide was so big it registered on earthquake monitors as a magnitude 3.4 event. Larger landslides have happened over geologic time, Marten Geertsema, a natural hazards researcher for the Forest Service in nearby British Columbia, told msnbc.com, but it definitely was "one of the longest runout landslides on a glacier in Alaska and Canada in recent times."
Warming Ocean Speeds Antarctic Melt
Scientists have long known that the wide platforms of ice extending from the southernmost continent have been shrinking away. But what's behind the melting hasn't been clear — whether warm ocean currents or surface winds have a bigger impact on the ice. Now, a new satellite survey of Antarctica places the blame largely on the water. "In most places in Antarctica, we can't explain the ice-shelf thinning through melting of snow at the surface," said study team member Hamish Pritchard of the British Antarctic Survey in a statement. "So it has to be driven by warm ocean currents melting them from below."
Greenland Ice Melt May Become Irreversible
The Greenland ice sheet has a lower melting point than previously thought, with scientists saying not only that it could melt completely at a lower temperature than once believed, but also that the melting process could soon become irreversible. "Once the process of melting the ice begins, it is very hard for it to change course even if we can lower temperatures in the future," Alex Robinson, lead author of a new study, said in an interview by email with The Times. "So even though melting the whole ice sheet could take a really long time, we will essentially decide the fate of Greenland within the next century."
Great Lakes Ice Cover Down 71 Percent in 40 Years
Great Lakes ice coverage declined an average of 71 percent over the past 40 years, according to a report from the American Meteorological Society.The amount of decline varies year to year and lake to lake, according to the report's lead researcher, Jia Wang, an ice research climatologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.Wang’s report said that based on Coast Guard scanning, satellite photos and other research from 1973 to 2010, ice coverage dropped most on Lake Ontario, 88 percent; the second-largest loss was on Lake Superior, at 79 percent.
Greenland Ice Sheet Vulnerable to Less Warming Than Previously Thought
The complete melt of the Greenland ice sheet could occur at lower global temperatures than previously thought, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change showed, increasing the threat and severity of a rise in sea level. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea level rise of several meters, potentially threatening the lives of millions of people. A complete ice sheet melt could happen if global temperatures rose between 0.8 and 3.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees, the scientists said.
Thickest Parts of Arctic Ice Cap Are Melting Fastest
A new NASA study revealed that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic Ocean’s floating ice cap. The thicker ice, known as multi-year ice, survives through the cyclical summer melt season, when young ice that has formed over winter just as quickly melts again. The rapid disappearance of older ice makes Arctic sea ice even more vulnerable to further decline in the summer, said Joey Comiso, senior scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and author of the study, which was recently published in Journal of Climate. Multi-year ice “extent” – which includes all areas of the Arctic Ocean where multi-year ice covers at least 15 percent of the ocean surface – is diminishing at a rate of -15.1 percent per decade, the study found.
New Satellite Data Reveal "Colossal" Glacial Meltdown
The melt-off from the world's ice sheets, ice caps and glaciers over eight years of the past decade would have been enough to cover the United States in about 18 inches (46 centimeters) of water, according to new research based on the most-comprehensive analysis of satellite data yet.
Greenland Shed 100 Billions Tons of Ice in 2010
A network of GPS stations across southern Greenland has detected that the area lost 100 billion tons of ice due to an unusually warm summer in 2010, researchers report. What's more, removing that much weight has raised parts of the bedrock by a quarter inch more than in recent years. Greenland's ice sheet has been seeing a steady melt during the summer months, and those GPS stations in years prior to 2010 typically detected an uplift of 0.59 inches. "But a temperature spike in 2010 lifted the bedrock a detectably higher amount over a short five-month period -- as high as 20 mm (0.79 inches) in some locations," said geologist Michael Bevis.
China's Glaciers in "Drastic" Retreat
Sharp increases in temperature driven by global warming are melting China's Himalayan glaciers, an impact that threatens habitats, tourism and economic development, says a study. Of 111 weather stations scattered across southwestern China, 77 percent showed significant upticks in temperatures between 1961 and 2008, according to the study, published in a British peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Research Letters. At the 14 monitoring stations above 4,000 metres (13,123 feet), the jump over this period was 1.73 degrees Celsius (3.11 degrees Fahrenheit), roughly twice the average global increase over the last century.
Second Giant Ice Island Set to Break off Greenland
Last year, a chunk of glacier four times the size of Manhattan island broke off Greenland. A year later, scientists were astounded to find out another piece, nearly the same size, is preparing to break off.
Half of Recent Sea Ice Melt Driven by Carbon Emissions
About half the recent record loss of Arctic sea ice can be blamed on global warming caused by human activity, according to a new study by scientists from the nation's leading climate research center. The peer-reviewed study, funded by the National Science Foundation, is the first to attribute a specific proportion of the ice melt to greenhouse gases and particulates from pollution.
Arctic Sea Ice Found Thinning Four Times Faster Than Projected
After comparing IPCC models with actual data, MIT researchers concluded that the forecasts were significantly off: Arctic sea ice is thinning, on average, four times faster than the models say, and it’s drifting twice as quickly.
Manhattan-sized Iceberg May Threaten Shipping off Newfoundland
A Manhattan-sized chunk of ice that broke off a glacier in Greenland nearly a year ago is drifting toward the coast of Newfoundland, Canada — providing a stunning sight to scientists and curiosity-seekers but also posing a potential threat to ships.
The ice island is 20 square miles — roughly 6.2 miles long and 3.1 miles wide. It was formed when a 97-square-mile chunk of ice broke off Greenland's Petermann Glacier on Aug. 5, 2010, possibly due to warming of the Atlantic Ocean. The ice island, the largest single chunk remaining from the massive parent chunk, has been winding its way through Arctic waters ever since.
Accelerating Arctic Melt Raises Sea Level Rise Projections
A new assessment of climate change in the Arctic shows the region's ice and snow are melting faster than previously thought and sharply raises projections of global sea level rise this century. It says that Arctic temperatures in the past six years were the highest since measurements began in 1880, and that feedback mechanisms believed to accelerate warming in the climate system have now started kicking in. The melting of Arctic glaciers and ice caps, including Greenland's massive ice sheet, are projected to help raise global sea levels by 35 to 63 inches (90-160 centimeters) by 2100, AMAP said, though it noted that the estimate was highly uncertain.
Speed of Greenland Ice Melt Sets New Record
The ice sheet covering Greenland melted at the fastest rate since records began in 1979, a new study shows. Over the past 30 years, the area subject to melting in Greenland has been increasing at about 17,000 square kilometers a year -- equivalent to adding a melt-region the size of Washington state every ten years.
Warming Oceans Pushing Toward Antarctic Meltdown
Global warming is sneaky. For more than a century it has been hiding large amounts of excess heat in the world's deep seas. Now that heat is coming to the surface again in one of the worst possible places: Antarctica. New analyses of the heat content of the waters off Western Antarctic Peninsula are now showing a clear and exponential increase in warming waters undermining the sea ice, raising air temperatures, melting glaciers and wiping out entire penguin colonies.
The Changes in the Arctic are Irreversible: NOAA
Record temperatures across the Canadian Arctic and Greenland, a reduced summer ice cover, record snow cover decreases and links to some North Hemisphere weather records support the conclusion of several teams of NOAA-sponsored scientists: a return to previous Arctic conditions is unlikely.
Greenland Loses 100 Square Miles of Ice Sheet -- Four Times Size of Manhattan
A piece of ice four times the size of Manhattan island has broken away from an ice shelf in Greenland, according to scientists in the U.S. The 260 square-kilometer (100 square miles) ice island separated from the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland early on Thursday, researchers based at the University of Delaware said. The ice island, which is about half the height of the Empire State Building, is the biggest piece of ice to break away from the Arctic icecap since 1962 and amounts to a quarter of the Petermann 70-kilometer floating ice shelf, according to research leader Andreas Muenchow.
Massive Greenland Glacier Retreats One Mile in One Night
Ice researchers using several satellites to monitor Greenland's most active glaciers almost daily have caught the north limb of the mother-of-all-Greenland glaciers, Jakonbshavn, retreating a mile in a night. The lost portion has been described as about an eighth the size of Manhattan Island and set a new record for the retreat of that glacier. On July 12 there was a new large crack discovered in the glacier's southern limb as well. Whether that means another gigantic release of ice or not remains to be seen.
Indonesia's Glaciers "are dying"
"These [Indonesian] glaciers are dying. Before I was thinking they had a few decades, but now I'd say we're looking at years," said Lonnie Thompson, one of the world's most accomplished glaciologists.
60 Million At Risk of Food Shortages from Himilayan Glacier Melt
Nearly 60 million people living around the Himalayas will suffer food shortages in the coming decades as glaciers shrink and the water sources for crops dry up, a study said. Dutch scientists writing in the journal Science concluded the impact would be less than previously estimated a few years ago by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The U.N. report in 2007 warned that hundred of millions of people were at risk from disappearing glaciers. The reason for the discrepancy, scientists said, is that some basins surrounding the Himalayas depend more on rainfall than melting glaciers for their water sources. Those that do count heavily on glaciers like the Indus, Ganges and Brahamaputra basins in South Asia could see their water supplies decline by as much as 19.6 percent by 2050.
US April Snow Cover Lowest in 43 Years
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, snow cover retreated to the lowest extent ever recorded in North America by the end of this April. Snow cover was 2.2 million square kilometers below average. With records of snow extent beginning in 1967, this is the lowest in 43 years and the largest negative anomaly in the past 521 months.
Greenland's "Rebound" Startles Researchers
Greenland's ice is melting at such a rapid pace that the land beneath it is rising up, say U.S. researchers. The dense, two-kilometre thick icecap that covers Greenland suppresses the land, keeping its elevation in check, researchers at the University of Miami write in a new study. However, it is melting so quickly that the island's coastal areas are rising at a rate of one inch per year. The scientists predict that by 2025, that rate could be two inches a year.
Warming splits famed Ugandan ice cap
Ugandan wildlife authorities say the ice cap on the country's western Rwenzori mountain range has split after extensive melting caused by global warming. Nelson Guma says ice covering Mount Margherita, the second highest peak in Africa, has melted forming a large crevasse some 6 meters (nearly 20 feet) wide. Guma said the split occurred on the climbing route to Mount Margherita and that tourists can no longer climb that peak. The East African peak has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Glacier Melt May Trigger More Volcanic Eruptions
A thaw of ice caps in coming decades caused by climate change may trigger more volcanic eruptions by removing a vast weight and freeing magma from deep below ground, research suggests.While that's not the case with Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier, which is too small and too light to affect local geology, other volcanoes on the island nation are seen as vulnerable.The end of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago coincided with a surge in volcanic activity in Iceland, apparently because huge ice caps thinned and the land rose.
Peruvian Glacier Slide Triggers Tsunami
A huge glacier broke off and plunged into a lake in Peru, causing a 75-foot tsunami wave that swept away at least three people and destroyed a water processing plant serving 60,000 local residents, government officials said. The ice block tumbled into a lake in the Andes Sunday near the town of Carhuaz, some 200 miles north of the capital, Lima. Three people were feared buried in debris. Investigators said the chunk of ice from the Hualcan glacier measured 1,640 feet by 656 feet. The glacier break triggered fears other glacier disasters may be on way but will be costly or impossible to predict.
Glacier National Park May Be Ice-Free in 10 Years
Glacier National Park has lost two more of its namesake moving icefields to climate change, which is shrinking the rivers of ice until they grind to a halt, a government researcher said. Warmer temperatures have reduced the number of named glaciers in the northwestern Montana park to 25, said an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He warned that the remaining glaciers might be gone by the end of the decade.
Greenland Ice Melt Exceeds Projections
Melt along the southern edge of Greenland's ice sheet is now moving up its northwest coast, a new study shows. "The ice mass loss has been very dramatic" since 2005, John Wahr, study co-author and a University of Colorado at Boulder physics professor, said in a statement. "These changes on the Greenland ice sheet are happening fast, and we are definitely losing more ice mass than we had anticipated," added co-author Isabella Velicogna of the University of California-Irvine, who is also a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Massive Antarctic Iceberg Could Alter Ocean Current Patterns
An iceberg the size of Luxembourg has broken off from a glacier in Antarctica after being rammed by another giant iceberg, scientists said, in an event that could affect ocean circulation patterns. The 965 square mile iceberg broke off earlier this month from the Mertz Glacier's 100-mile floating tongue of ice that sticks out into the Southern Ocean.
Mountains Rebound At Record Rate as Glaciers Melt
Mountains along the southernmost swath of South America are growing taller at a record rate, say researchers, who attribute the growth to the accelerating loss of glaciers there. The new GPS-based measurements from Patagonia's southern ice field show that between 2003 and 2006 the mountains grew at a rate of 39 millimeters (1.5 inches) per year.
Disappearing Glaciers Threaten Bolivian Stability
The e glaciers that have long provided water and electricity to this part of Bolivia are melting and disappearing, victims of global warming, most scientists say. If the water problems are not solved, El Alto, a poor sister city of La Paz, could be the first large urban casualty of climate change.
Arctic Sea Ice Far More Fragile Than Satellites Indicated
Arctic sea ice conditions are even worse than feared after a survey found that ice detected as older and thicker by satellites is actually thin and fragile, a prominent Canadian researcher reported. University of Manitoba researcher David Barber said experts around the world believed the ice was recovering because satellite images showed it expanding, but the thick, multiyear frozen sheets have been replaced by thin ice that cannot support the weight of a polar bear.
Scientists Alarmed by "Drastic Changes" in the Arctic
The Arctic report shows that warming temperatures are changing wind patterns in the Arctic, melting sea ice and glaciers, and affecting ocean and land life.
Preparing for a glacier-free future
If glaciers do disappear, one main impact will be lower river flows in dry seasons -- when irrigation is often needed for crops. That would particularly threaten people in the world's biggest rice-growers, China and India. "Nature can adjust to the circumstances," said one expert. "It's just people who are much more fragile about living conditions."
Arctic Summer Sea Ice Seen Vanishing in 10 Years
The North Pole will turn into an open sea during summer within a decade, according to data released by a team of explorers who trekked through the Arctic for three months.
Ice Sheet Meltdown Accelerates
New satellite information shows that ice sheets in Greenland and western Antarctica continue to shrink faster than scientists thought and in some places are already in runaway melt mode.
Polar Ice Melt May Trigger more Earthquakes, Tsunamis
Quakes, volcanic eruptions, giant landslides and tsunamis may become more frequent as global warming changes the earth's crust, scientists said. Climate-linked geological changes may also trigger "methane burps," the release of a potent greenhouse gas, currently stored in solid form under melting permafrost and the seabed, in quantities greater than all the carbon dioxide (CO2) in our air today.
Arctic Warmer than Anytime in Past 2,000 Years
The Arctic is warmer than it's been in 2,000 years, according to a new study, even though it should be cooling because of changes in the Earth's orbit that cause the region to get less direct sunlight.
Permafrost Carbon Reserves Seen Doubling Previous Estimates
The amount of carbon locked away in frozen soils in the far Northern Hemisphere is double previous estimates and rapid melting could accelerate global warming. The research shows that the amount of carbon stored in soils surrounding the North Pole has been hugely underestimated, according to researchers.
Arctic Thaw Reveals GHG "Time Bomb"
A "slow-motion time bomb" of trapped greenhouse gases being released by the Arctic's thawing tundra may not go off quite as fast as once feared, a new study found. Initially, greenhouse gas releases are sucked up by new plants as the Arctic gets warmer and greener. But in between 15 to 50 years those plants "can't keep up" and get overwhelmed, said study lead author Ted Schuur, a University of Florida ecologist.
WAIS Melt Would Alter Planet's Gravity Field
The melting of one of the west Antarctic ice sheet would alter the Earth's field of gravity and even its rotation in space so much that it would cause sea levels along some coasts to rise faster than the global average, scientists said yesterday.
Himilaya Melt May Leave 1 Billion People Short of Water
As climate change takes hold, even the mighty Himalayas and Hindu Kush mountain ranges are now losing their snow and ice. Experts said they may melt away in just 20 to 30 years, leaving more than a billion people desperately short of water.
Wilkins Ice Shelf Calving Massive Icebergs
Massive ice chunks are crumbling away from a shelf in the western Antarctic Peninsula, researchers said Wednesday, warning that 1,300 square miles of ice -- an area larger than Rhode Island -- was in danger of breaking off in coming weeks.
Antarctica's Largest Ice Shelf Disintegrates
An ice bridge which had apparently held a vast Antarctic ice shelf in place during recorded history shattered on Saturday and could herald a wider collapse linked to global warming.
Report: Arctic Sea Ice May Be Gone in 30 Years
Some 80 percent of Arctic Ice may disappear in 30 years, not 90 as scientists had previously estimated, according to a new study on the impact of global warming. Scientists made their projections based on models that accounted for changes in Arctic ice, which saw "dramatic declines" at the end of summer in 2007 and 2008, when the ice surface dropped to 4.3 and 4.6 million square kilometers (1.7 and 1.8 million square miles), respectively.
Arctic Meltdown Poses Global Threat to Humanity
In 2006, Alaskan ecologist Katey Walter warned that as the permafrost in Siberia melted, growing methane emissions could accelerate climate change. But recently she was shocked. "Lakes in Siberia are five times bigger than when I measured them in 2006. It's unprecedented. . .The permafrost is melting fast all over the Arctic, lakes are forming everywhere and methane is bubbling up out of them."
Pace of Antarctic Glacial Melt Alarms Scientists
Antarctic glaciers are melting faster than previously thought, which could lead to an unprecedented rise in sea levels. Previously most of the warming was thought to occur on the narrow stretch pointing toward South America. However, a report by thousands of scientists for the 2007-2008 International Polar Year said the western part of the continent was warming up as well as the Antarctic Peninsula.
Scientists Dismayed By Melt Speed at Both Poles
The Arctic and Antarctic regions are warming faster than previously thought, raising world sea levels and making drastic global climate change more likely than ever. The melt is particularly worrisome in West Antarctica -- and not just the Antarctic Peninsula but all along the vast coastline.
Andes Nations Facing Water Shortages
Global climate change threatens the complete disappearance of the Andes' tropical glaciers within the next 20 years, putting precious water, energy and food sources at risk, according to the World Bank.
Scientists Find Antarctica Is Warming
Antarctica is warming. That is the conclusion of scientists analyzing half a century of temperatures on the continent, and the findings may help resolve a climate enigma at the bottom of the planet.
Greenland's Interior May Melt Less Rapidly
As the world warms, Greenland's dwindling glaciers may actually slow in their retreat, according to new research.
Arctic Meltdown May Signal the Start of Runaway Changes
Climate change in the Arctic may have reached the point of no return. In the case of the Arctic, that could mean a complete disappearance of ice in the region during the summer months. Such an eventuality would then further magnify global warming, due to the fact that bright white ice reflects sunlight back into the atmosphere whereas dark colored land and ocean absorbs heat.
Wilkins Ice Shelf Lost More than 700 Square Miles in 2008
Scientists have identified new rifts on an Antarctic ice shelf that could lead to it breaking away from the Antarctic Peninsula, the European Space Agency said.The Wilkins Ice Shelf, a large sheet of floating ice south of South America, is connected to two Antarctic islands by a strip of ice. That ice "bridge" has lost around 772 square miles so far this year.
Himalayan Glacier Melt Risks Water Supply for One Billion People
Glaciers high in the Himalayas are dwindling faster than anyone thought, putting nearly a billion people living in South Asia in peril of losing their water supply.
Antarctica Shows Signs of Greenhouse Warming
The Antarctic holds the world's largest amount of fresh water in its icy grip, and it is most certainly warming as a result of greenhouse gases, say new scientific studies. "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 the University of East Anglia, in Britain, who led the study.
Arctic Sea Ice Melts to Record Low Volume
Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has melted to its lowest volume in recorded history, according to new measurements.
Arctic Melt May Signal Warming is "Unstoppable"
The rapid melting in the Arctic has prompted a prominent scientist to declare: "I think we're at a point where it is not stoppable but it can be slowed down."
Canadian Ice Shelves Shrink By 25 Percent in Summer of 2008
Canada's ice shelves suffered massive erosion over the summer, losing almost one-quarter of their area, researchers have found.The ice shelves on the north coast of Ellesmere lost 214 square kilometres over the summer, or an area three times larger than Manhattan Island.
Low CO2 Levels Spurred Prehistoric Creation of Greenland Ice
A new report, published today in the science journal, Nature, claims that changes in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere led to the creation of the Greenland ice-sheet, further evidence, experts claim, that carbon dioxide changes the nature of our planet.
Greenland Ice Cracks Trouble Scientists
In northern Greenland, a part of the Arctic that had seemed immune from global warming, new satellite images show a growing giant crack and an 11-square-mile chunk of ice hemorrhaging off a major glacier, scientists said. That hass led the university professor who spotted the wounds in the massive Petermann glacier to predict disintegration of a major portion of the Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier within the year.
Scientists Dismayed By Speed of Arctic Meltdown
Ice at the North Pole melted at an unprecedented rate last week, with leading scientists warning that the Arctic could be ice-free in summer by 2013. Ice caps started to disintegrate dramatically several days ago as storms over Alaska's Beaufort Sea began sucking streams of warm air into the Arctic. As a result, scientists say the disappearance of sea ice at the North Pole could exceed last year's record loss.
Canada Loses Eight Square Miles of Ice Shelf
Giant sheets of ice totaling almost eight square miles broke off an ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic last week and more could follow later this year. The ice broke away from the shelf on Ward Hunt Island, an small island just off giant Ellesmere Island in one of the northernmost parts of Canada.
Sea-Ice Loss Hastens Thawing of Permafrost
As Arctic sea ice vanishes, permafrost could warm much more quickly than previously thought, according to new research. Melting permafrost could then release its vast stores of carbon into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming. The study is the first to link the loss of sea ice to warmer temperatures hundreds of miles inland.
Early Glacier Melts Threatens Water Supplies Around the World
Glaciers and mountain snow are melting earlier in the year than usual, meaning the water has already gone when millions of people need it during the summer when rainfall is lower, scientists warned.
"This is just a time bomb," hydrologist Wouter Buytaert said at a meeting of geoscientists in Vienna.
Huge Chunk of Antarctic Ice Collapses
A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk.
Glaciers Melting Faster Than At Any Time on Record
The world's glaciers are melting faster than at any time since records began, threatening catastrophe for hundreds of millions of people and their eco-systems.
West Antarctic Melt Accelerates
UK scientists working in Antarctica have found some of the clearest evidence yet of instabilities in the ice of part of West Antarctica. If the trend continues, they say, it could lead to a significant rise in global sea level.
Underground Volcano May Be Accelerating Antarctic Thaw
Researchers have found evidence that a previously undiscovered active volcano, which last erupted about 2300 years ago, could be heating a portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, causing enough melting to nudge the sheet toward the sea. The find is bad news for scientists already worried about the stability of the giant ice sheet as global temperatures climb.
Old Arctic Sea Ice Gives Way to Newer, Thinner Ice
A new study using satellite measurements of Arctic sea ice have revealed that thinner ice that's only two or three years old now accounts for 58 percent of the ice cover -- up from 35 percent in the mid-1980s.
Warmth Seen Destabilizing West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than current estimates.
Human and Natural Forces Hasten Arctic Meltdown
An upcoming study concludes that the combination of both natural energy transfer increase and man-made global warming serve as a one-two punch that is pushing the Arctic over the edge.
Summer Arctic Sea Ice Could be Gone in Five Years
An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.
Melting Poles Augur No "Happy Ending": Washington Post
For scientists, global warming is a disaster movie, its opening scenes set at the poles of Earth. The epic already has started. And it's not fiction. The scenes are playing, at the start, in slow motion: The relentless grip of the Arctic Ocean that defied man for centuries is melting away. The sea ice reaches only half as far as it did 50 years ago. In the summer of 2006, it shrank to a record low; this summer the ice pulled back even more, by an area nearly the size of Alaska. Where explorers 100 years ago saw "a great white disk stretching away apparently infinitely" from Ellesmere Island, there is often nothing now but open water.
NOAA Paints Bleak Picture of the Arctic
A bleak "report card" on global warming's Arctic impact found less ice, hotter air and dying wildlife, and stressed that what happens around the North Pole affects the entire planet. The report, issued by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also found that weird winds blowing warm air toward the North Pole and unusually persistent sunshine added to the warming trend.
Antarctic Thaw Moves Inland
Antarctica's once fringe-thawing is moving well inland, say scientists who have studied water-sensitive microwave satellite data spanning the years 1987 to 2006. The worst melting happened in the summer of 2004-2005, with snow and ice melting in unlikely places, the researchers report.
Speed of Arctic Ice Loss Stuns Scientists
The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows, scientists have announced. Experts say they are "stunned" by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone. THe shrinkage is twice as fast as the rate of loss estimated by the IPCC.
Arctic Sea Ice Hits New Low
There was less sea ice in the Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported.
Glacier Melt Speeds Sea Level Rise
Melting glaciers due to global warming contribute more to the rising sea level than the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. Scientists found the ebb and flow of glaciers where they meet the water causes them to speed up and deliver more ice into the world's oceans than previously estimated.
New Evidence Reveals Lush Ancient Greenland
Scientists using DNA extracted from ice buried deep below the surface have found evidence that a lush forest once existed in southern Greenland, a finding that sheds light on how climate change affects Earth's frozen areas.
Ancient Arctic Ponds Drying Up
Ponds that have provided summertime water in the high arctic for thousands of years are drying up as global warming advances.
Bolivia's Glaciers Seen Disappearing in 30 Years
Global warming will melt most Andean glaciers in the next 30 years, scientists say, threatening the livelihood of millions of people who depend on them for drinking water, farming and power generation.
Antarctic Icemelt Seen Accelerating
Fears that global sea levels this century may rise faster and further than expected are supported by a study showing that 300 glaciers in Antarctica have begun to move more quickly into the ocean. Scientists believe that the accelerated movement of glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula indicates a dramatic shift in the way melting ice around the world contributes to overall increases in global sea levels.
Global Thaw Accelerates Warming: UNEP
Melting glaciers, ice sheets and snow cover could speed the rate at which the planet heats up, causing rising sea levels, flooding and water shortages that impact as many as 40 percent of the world's population. In its report, UNEP highlighted the risk the receding ice cover could accelerate global warming, because the icepacks cool the planet by reflecting heat into space.
Scientists Dismayed By Accelerating Rate of Greenland Ice Melt
Seven years ago, data showed that Greenland's glaciers were moving into the ocean at a rate of about 6 feet a year. But flights this spring revealed that ice along the southern coast is speeding to the sea at more than 75 feet a year.
Antarctic Interior Hit By Rapid Melt in 2005
Scientists have found clear evidence that extensive areas of snow melted in west Antarctica in January 2005 in response to warm temperatures. The melting occurred in multiple distinct regions, including far inland, at high latitudes and at high elevations, where melt had been considered unlikely.
Arctic Ice Melt Outpaces Computer Projections
Arctic ice is melting faster than computer models of climate calculate, according to a group of US researchers. Since 1979, the Arctic has been losing summer ice at about 9% per decade, but models on average produce a melting rate less than half that figure.
Melting Ice Sheet Spawns New Island off Greenland
A new island has appeared off the coast of Greenland, suddenly separated from the mainland by the melting of Greenland's enormous ice sheet, a development that is being seen as the most alarming sign of global warming. Several miles long, the island was once thought to be the tip of a peninsula halfway up Greenland's remote east coast but a glacier joining it to the mainland has melted away completely, leaving it surrounded by sea.
Antarctic Meltdown Seen Accelerating
Rising sea levels and melting polar ice-sheets are at upper limits of projections, leaving some human population centres already unable to cope, top world scientists say as they analyse latest satellite data.
Ice Cap Meltdown May Be Inevitable: Scientists
A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a UN expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss "may no longer be avoided".
Stability of Antarctic Ice Sheets In Doubt
The long-term stability of the massive ice sheets of Antarctica, which have the potential to raise sea levels by hundreds of metres, has been called into question with the discovery of fast-moving rivers of water sliding beneath their base. Scientists were astonished to discover the size of the vast lakes and river systems flowing beneath the Antarctic ice sheets, which may lubricate the movement of these glaciers as they flow into the surrounding sea.
Glacier Melting Accelerates in the Andes
The ice atop Cordillera Blanca, the largest glacier chain in the tropics, is melting fast because of rising temperatures, and peaks are turning brown. The trend is highlighting fears of global warming and, scientists say, is endangering future water supplies to the arid coast where most Peruvians live.
Small Changes in Albedo Mean Big Changes In Climate
A three-percent decrease in albedo would create a severe heating effect comparable to that caused by a sixfold increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, far greater than anything projected by today's climate models.
Ruptured Arctic Ice Shelf Threatens Shipping Lanes
A chunk of ice bigger than the area of Manhattan broke from an ice shelf in Canada's far north and could wreak havoc if it starts to float westward toward oil-drilling regions and shipping lanes next summer, a researcher said on Friday
Antarctic ice stream Is Moving By 1 Meter per Day
Tides affect the speed at which an Antarctic ice sheet bigger than the Netherlands is sliding towards the sea, adding a surprise piece to a puzzle about ocean levels and global warming. The Rutford Ice Stream of western Antarctica slips about a metre (3 ft) a day towards the sea but the rate varies 20 percent in tandem with two-week tidal cycles.
Alps Warmer Than Any Time In 1,300 Years
Europe's Alpine region is going through its warmest period in 1,300 years, the head of an extensive climate study said.
Scientists See GHG Fingerprint in Ice Shelf Disintegration
Scientists have found the first direct evidence linking the collapse of an ice shelf in Antarctica to global warming widely blamed on human activities. Shifts in winds whipping around the southern Ocean, tied to human emissions of greenhouse gases, had warmed the Antarctic peninsula jutting up toward South America and contributed to the break-up of the Larsen B ice shelf in 2002, they said.
Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Five Times Faster Than in 2002
5New measurements show that the southeastern Greenland ice sheet has been melting five times more quickly over the last two years than it did in the year and a half before that.
Glacial Melt Triggers Earthquakes
A number of geologists say glacial melting due to climate change will unleash pent-up pressures in the Earth's crust, causing extreme geological events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
Scientists See Arctic Passing "Tipping Point"
Record amounts of the Arctic ocean failed to freeze during the recent winter, spelling disaster for wildlife and strengthening concerns that the region is locked into a destructive cycle of irreversible climate change.
Tibetan Glacier Melt Augurs Chinese "Ecological Catastrophe"
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has announced that the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau are vanishing so fast that they will be reduced by 50 per cent every decade. Each year enough water permanently melts from them to fill the entire Yellow River. They added that these changes will increase droughts and sandstorms over the rest of the country in what experts warn will be an "ecological catastrophe".
Accelerating Rate of Ice Melt Dismays Scientists
Global warming appears to be pushing vast reservoirs of ice on Greenland and Antarctica toward a significant, long-term meltdown. The world may have as little as a decade to take the steps to avoid this scenario.
Scientists Confirm Acceleration of Greenland Ice Melt
The amount of ice flowing into the sea from large glaciers in southern Greenland has almost doubled in the last 10 years, possibly requiring scientists to increase estimates of how much the world's oceans could rise under the influence of global warming, according to a study being published today in the journal Science.
Jim Hansen: Rate of Melt Leaves Us Very Little Time To Act.
Scientists Dismayed By Speed of Greenland Glacier Melt
Two major glaciers in Greenland have recently begun to flow and break up more quickly under the onslaught of global warming, a new study said. The report said the Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers had doubled their rate of flow to the ocean over the past two years after steady movement during the 1990s.
Greenland Melting Much Faster than Anticipated
Greenland's glaciers have begun to race towards the ocean, leading scientists to predict that the vast island's ice cap is approaching irreversible meltdown.
Tippint Points in the Tundra
The recent news from the Arctic is troubling. A new report (1) from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) indicates that the extent of sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is now at its lowest level in more than a century. The NASA-NSIDC team has observed four straight years of substantially below-average sea ice, with earlier spring melting and sharp declines in winter ice cover. This comes on the heels of another report by Overpeck et al. (2), supported by the NSF Arctic System Science program, which suggests that the Arctic is heading toward a new, seasonally ice-free state--a condition not seen for at least a million years.
Arctic Meltdown: Passing Point of No Return
Many scientists have concluded that the momentum behind human-caused warming, combined with the region's tendency to amplify change, has put the familiar Arctic past the point of no return.
Antarctic Ice Sheets Gain Momentum
The edges of the Antarctic ice sheets are slipping into the ocean at an unprecedented rate, raising fears of a global surge in sea levels, glaciologists warned.
Warming Shrinks Arctic Sea Ice to Lowest Level On Record
The floating cap of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean shrank this summer to what is probably its smallest size in at least a century of record keeping. That shift is hard to explain without attributing it in part to human-caused global warming, the team's members and other experts on the region said.
Antarctic Glaciers Seen Shrinking
Scientists have issued a fresh warning about the effect of climate change on Antarctica, saying that more than 200 coastal glaciers are in retreat because of higher temperatures.
West Antarctic Ice Sheet Shows Early Signs of Disintegration
British scientists have discovered that a massive Antarctic ice sheet, previously assumed to be stable, may be starting to disintegrate. Its collapse would raise sea levels around the earth by more than 16 feet.
World's Glaciers Disappearing At A Stunning Pace
Glaciers around the world, in Bolivia, in Alaska in the north, to Montana's Glacier National Park, to the great ice fields of wild Patagonia at this continent's southern tip, the "rivers of ice" that have marked landscapes from prehistory are liquefying, shrinking, retreating. The storied snows of Mount Kilimanjaro are vanishing. In the icebound Alps and Himalayas of Europe and Asia, the change has been stunning.
Rapid Warming of Antarctica Frightens Scientists
Huge glaciers in remote areas of Antarctica are thinning and ice shelves the size of American states are either disintegrating or retreating - all possible indications of global warming. Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey reported in December that in some parts of the Antarctic Peninsula hundreds of miles from here, large growths of grass are appearing in places that until recently were hidden under a frozen cloak.
Lawyers Move To Force Action On Mt. Everest Ice Loss
A delegation of environmental lawyers is starting a new initiative to force action on global warming. Said one climatologist: "We know that over the last 30 years, in the eastern Himalayas, snow cover and ice cover have decreased on average by about 30 percent so there's 30% less ice and snow than there was 30 years ago."
Four-Year Study Finds Arctic Already Showing Warming Impacts
A comprehensive four-year study of warming in the Arctic shows that heat-trapping gases from tailpipes and smokestacks around the world are contributing to profound environmental changes, including sharp retreats of glaciers and sea ice, thawing of permafrost and shifts in the weather, the oceans and the atmosphere. The findings support the broad but politically controversial scientific consensus that global warming is caused mainly by rising atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and that the Arctic is the first region to feel its effects.
Scientists Worry About Accelerating Glacier Meltrate in Antarctica
Some of Antarctica's glaciers are melting faster than snow can replace them, enough to raise sea levels measurably, scientists reported. Measurements of glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea, on the Pacific Ocean side of Antarctica, show they are melting much faster than in recent years and could break up.
Disappearance of Tibetan Glaciers Would Be "Ecological Catastrophe"
An "ecological catastrophe" is developing in Tibet because of global warming, and most glaciers in the region could have melted away by 2100 if no efficient measures are taken.
Greenland Ice Seen Melting Ten Times Faster Than Thought
Greenland's cover of ice is melting ten times quicker than previously thought, an increase that could lead to floods across the world, scientists have found. Newly published research shows an alarming rise in the rate of collapse of the massive Greenland ice-sheet as a result of global warming. Scientists now believe the ice-sheet is shrinking at the rate of ten metres a year, not the one metre previously thought.
King: Highest Carbon Levels in 55 Million Years Threaten Coastal Cities
There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than for 55m years, enough to melt all the ice on the planet and submerge cities like London, New York and New Orleans, Sir David King, the British government's chief scientific adviser has warned.
Patagonia Glacial Retreat Accelerates
One of South America's leading natural tourist destinations, the San Rafael Glacier in Chile, is retreating at an alarming rate.
Greenland Ice melt could be "irreversible"
A dramatic and irreversible rise in sea levels could result from the melting of the Greenland ice sheet if global warming continues unchecked. The melting of the massive ice sheet on Greenland - which has been stable for thousands of years - could increase sea levels by as much as 7 metres (23 feet). Such a rise would inundate vast areas of land, including cities at sea level, such as London. Some densely populated regions, such as Bangladesh, may disappear.
German Study: Ice Cap Melting Will Swamp Cities
Measures to fight global warming will have to be at least four times stronger than the Kyoto Protocol if they are to avoid the melting of the polar ice caps, inundating central London and many of the world's biggest cities, concludes a new official report. The report, by a German government body, says that "dangerous climatic changes" will become "highly probable" if the world's average temperature is allowed to increase to more than 2 degrees centigrade above what it was before the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Pictures Show Accelerating Meltrate of Patagonian Glaciers
New pictures of the Patagonian glaciers show the extent to which the vast tracts of ice in South America have receded because of climate change.The glaciers and icefields, which cover more than 17,000 square kilometres across Chile and Argentina, are disappearing at a rate of 42 cubic kilometres a year -- the fastest glacial recession in the world.
Patagonian Ice Melt Drives Sea Level rise
Melting of glaciers in the Patagonian ice fields of southern Argentina and Chile has doubled in recent years, caused by higher temperatures, lower snowfall and a more rapid breaking of icebergs. The glaciers are melting so fast they are making a significant contribution to sea-level rise.
3,000-Year-Old Arctic Ice Shelf Ruptures
The largest ice shelf in the Arctic -- an 80-foot-thick slab of ice nearly the size of Lake Tahoe -- has broken up, providing more evidence that the Earth's polar regions are responding to ongoing and accelerating rates of climatic change, researchers reported. The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory, broke into two main parts, themselves cut through with fissures. A freshwater lake drained into the sea, the researchers reported. Large ice islands also calved off from the shelf and some are large enough to be dangerous to shipping and to drilling platforms in the Beaufort Sea.
Melting Glaciers Threaten Andean Residents
Thousands of people in the Andes mountains of Peru are having their lives affected in both a practical and cultural way by climate change, which is causing the region's glaciers to melt. In the last three decades, Peruvian glaciers have lost almost a quarter of their area.
Warming Melts 90 percent of World's Glaciers
Temperature changes and lack of snow are causing 90% of the world's glaciers to retreat and some to disappear completely, with potentially catastrophic consequences for communities that rely on the meltwater for irrigation, hydroelectric schemes and drinking, glaciologists agreed yesterday. Research in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas all pointed to the same conclusion: that climate change is causing increasingly rapid melting of the ice.
Glacier Melt Threatens Kazakhstan's Stability
The political stability of Kazakhstan, a key central Asian state, could be imperilled by climate change, researchers say. They say glaciers are melting so fast in parts of Kazakhstan that the livelihoods of millions of people will be affected. The area's glaciers were losing almost two cubic kilometres of ice annually during the later 20th Century. With regional temperatures rising, researchers believe climate change is responsible.
Warming Threatens Alpine Tourism
It figured as a stop on adventurous young men's nineteenth-century Grand Tour, and in summer 300 people might climb it in a single day. This year, for the first time since its conquest in 1786, the heatwave has made western Europe's highest peak too dangerous to climb.Mont Blanc is closed.The conditions have been so extreme, say glaciologists and climate experts, and the retreat of the Alps' eternal snows and glaciers so pronounced, that the range - and its multi-billion-pound tourist industry - may never fully recover.
Swiss Glaciers Shrink At Alarming Rate
Grayed by the heat and riven with deep cracks, Switzerland's mighty Alpine glaciers are shrinking at a record rate in this summer's sizzling sun. The Alpine glaciers, source of some of Europe's biggest rivers, have been in retreat for more than a century, but the loss of ice has speeded this year as temperatures have soared. "The rate of ice melt is some three or four times the usual amount," said Charly Wuilloud, head of the department of natural dangers at the Valais state forestry department.
Oil Drillers Hail Disappearance of Arctic Ice Cap
Global warming will melt most of the Arctic icecap in summertime by the end of the century, according to a new report. Moscow and Norway reckon the Barents Sea could be a promising new area for oil and gas. The Northern Sea passage could save shippers about 10 days on a trip from Japan to Europe compared to traveling through the Suez Canal.
Disappearance of Arctic Ice Seen Accelerating
The vast expanse of permanent ice that has characterized the Arctic Ocean for
millennia is fated to disappear far faster than anyone imagined, and will
certainly be gone before the century is out, says a NASA satellite study. The startling survey shows that an area of ancient ice roughly as large as
Alberta is vanishing every decade as the climate warms.
Glacier National Park in Final Meltdown
MANY GLACIER, Mont. -- When naturalists first hiked through Glacier National
Park more than a century ago, 150 glaciers graced its high cliffs and jagged
peaks. Today there are 35. The cold slivers that remain are disintegrating so
fast that scientists estimate the park will have no glaciers in 30 years.
Kilimanjaro Ice Could Be Gone in 20 Years
Cores drilled into the glaciers high up on the peak support earlier evidence
that there were three catastrophic droughts on the continent in the intervening
period. The research reinforces predictions
made last year that rising temperatures - if they persist - could clear the
mountain's ice completely within two decades. This could cause difficulties for local people whose economies depend in part
on the melt waters coming from the mountain and who also benefit from the influx
of tourists drawn to the beauty of the white-capped tropical peak.
Andean Countries Face Waters Shortages From Shrinking Glaciers
The glacier that supplies the
largest reservoir in the Bolivian highlands is shriveling so fast that
scientists fear a scarcity of drinking water in the decades to come. In a phenomenon scientists here and abroad call a calamity in the making, the
glaciers of the central Andes are vanishing because of global warming driven at
least in part by pollution.
Russian Glacier Collapse Focuses Concern on Global Cryosphere
The entombment of a Russian village under 3 million tons of ice and mud from
a collapsing glacier is a sign of the gradual yet vast climatic changes sweeping
the world's mountainous regions, scientists say. Researchers maintain that the
avalanche is part of a subtle chain of events that has transformed once-frozen
mountains and is altering the course of nearby human settlements in unexpected,
and sometimes disastrous, ways.
Indian Paper Details Himilayan Ice Retreat
As bugs invade areas deserted by the cold, the latest satellite studies
confirm a retreat of the ice, probably from global warming. Could the Himalayan
glaciers be gone in 30 years?
Alaskan Glaciers Melting Twice As Fast As Thought
Alaska's glaciers are melting at more than twice the rate previously thought
because of warming temperatures, dramatically altering the majestic contours of
the state and driving up sea levels, according to a new study.
Glacier Melt Threatens Alpine Towns
The people of the Italian Alpine resort village of Macugnaga long ago learned
to cope with the floods that sometimes accompany the melting snow in the spring.
But nothing prepared them for the catastrophic flood threat they now face - a
glacier rapidly melting from unusually warm temperatures. If they fail to contain it, a
devastating wall of water, carrying chunks of glacier and mountainside, would
crash down this verdant valley.
Greenland Thaw Accelerated By Warming
New measurements by US scientists show that since 1996 the Greenland ice
sheet has been moving faster during the summer melting season. The rate is accelerating because more melted water is trickling down from the
surface of the sheet to the bedrock. There it lubricates the sheet, which moves
faster towards the coast. The scientists say this suggests the ice may be responding more quickly than
thought to a warming climate.
Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting Faster Than Thought
US scientists say the floating fringes of the Antarctic ice sheet are melting
faster than previous studies had suggested. They say the rate of melting is
linked to the temperature of the surrounding seawater. They estimate that each 0.1 Celsius rise in sea temperature can increase the
rate of melting by one metre annually. The scientists say their findings could
have implications for the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Mt. Everest Retreats At Record Rate
GENEVA - A glacier from which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay set out
to conquer Mount Everest nearly 50 years ago has retreated three miles
up the mountain due to global warming. A team of climbers, backed by the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), reported after their two-week visit last month that the impact of rising
temperatures was everywhere to be seen.
Soaring Himalayan Temperatures Threaten Massive Flooding
LONDON - More than 40 Himalayan lakes could burst their banks in five years'
time, sending millions of gallons of floodwater down into the valleys and
killing thousands, scientists said yesterday. The lakes, formed by water from melting glaciers, are filling up faster and
faster as glaciers succumb to global warming. Average temperatures in the
Himalayas have risen by one degree Celsius since the 1970s.
Small Warming Could Jeopardize Water Supplies
Just one or two degrees of
global warming could have dramatic impacts on water resources across western
North America, a new study suggests. The researchers, from the National
Center for Atmospheric Research and elsewhere, were surprised by the size of the
effect generated by only a small rise in temperature.
Australian Glacier Loss Accelerates
Australia's glaciers are melting. The shrinking of
Australia's little-known glaciers on remote, sub-Antarctic Heard Island in the
Indian Ocean reveals global warming now stretches from the tropics to the edge
of Antarctica. "The recession of many glaciers during the past 50 years has been
unprecedented in modern times for Heard Island," said glaciologist Andrew Ruddell of
with the Australian Antarctic Division.
Icelandic Glacier, Biggest in Europe, is Disintegrating
Europe's biggest glacier is about to disintegrate. The mighty
Breidamerkurjökull in southern Iceland is breaking apart and will slide into the
north Atlantic in the next few years. The imminent destruction of this gigantic river of
ice demonstrates starkly that global warming is now making a serious impact on
the northern hemisphere, threatening to melt ice caps and raise sea levels round
Kilimanjaro's Glacial Retreat Confirms Warming
The vanishing of the seemingly perpetual snows of Kilimanjaro that inspired
Ernest Hemingway, echoed by similar trends on ice-capped peaks from Peru to
Tibet, is one of the clearest signs that a global warming trend in the last 50
years may have exceeded typical climate shifts and is at least partly caused by
gases released by human activities, a variety of scientists say.
Himalayan Ice Cores Show Last 50 years Hottest in Millennium
More evidence that the Earth is warmer than at any time in the past 1,000
years has come from ice cores in a glacier on the "roof" of the world. Himalayan ice cores provide convincing evidence that the past 50 years – and
the 1990s in particular – have been the warmest of the past millennium.
North Pole Melts after 50 million-year Freeze
The North Pole is melting. The thick ice that has for ages covered the Arctic Ocean at the pole has
turned to water, recent visitors there reported yesterday. At least for the time
being, an ice-free patch of ocean about a mile wide has opened at the very top
of the world, something that has presumably never before been seen by humans and
is more evidence that global warming may be real and already affecting climate.
The last time scientists can be certain the pole was awash in water was more
than 50 million years ago.
Worldwatch: Earth's Meltdown Accelerates
Around the world, ice sheets and glaciers are melting at a rate unprecedented
since record-keeping began. The Worldwatch Institute has compiled reports from across the globe, which show that the
melting accelerated during the 1990s - the warmest decade on record. Glaciers and other ice features are especially sensitive to
temperature shifts and scientists suspect the enhanced melting is among
the first observable signs of human-induced global warming.
Himalayan Glaciers May Disappear by 2035
Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the
world, causing anamolous floods, mudslides and river overflows in a traditionally dry part of the world. At present rates, they are likely to disappear in the next 40 years.
Melting of Earth's Glaciers Accelerates
The vast majority of the
earth’s glaciers have been melting for at least two decades. The most
recent measurements indicate that the so-called rate of "glacial
retreat" is accelerating rapidly.
Greenland Ice Sheet Thins Faster than Expected
The southern half of the Greenland ice sheet, the second largest expanse of
land-bound ice earth after Antarctica, has shrunk substantially in the last five
years. Experts have said for some time that a warming atmosphere has caused many
mountain glaciers around the world to shrink. But until now, they have not known
what was happening to the Greenland ice cap. While five years is too short a
period to mark a trend, the new findings provide the first precise evidence that
it, too, is diminishing.
Glacial Retreat Faster than Previously Thought
All of the glaciers in Glacier National Park
in Montana will be gone in the next 50 to 70 years, according to researchers
measuring global melting rates. The Montana glaciers and others are melting more
quickly than scientists had
Melting Glaciers Threaten Alaskan Ships
The Columbia Glacier in Alaska's Prince William Sound is
disgorging more than one million tons of ice a day into shipping lanes outside
Valdez, posing a threat to the more than 600 tankers laden with Alaskan crude
oil that traverse the lanes each year
Antarctic Glaciers Shrink Rapidly
Retreat of Antarctic glaciers accelerates, as temperatures rise by 5 degrees Fahrenheit.