Greenland glacier to lose chunk the size of Manhattan

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Chris, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Arctic glacier to lose Manhattan-sized 'tongue'
    14 July 2009 by Catherine Brahic

    The biggest glacier in the Arctic is on the verge of losing a chunk of ice the size of Manhattan. A group of scientists and climate change activists who are closely monitoring the Petermann glacier's ice tongue believe the rapid flow of ice is in part due to warm ocean currents moving up along the coast of Greenland, fuelled by global warming.

    During the summer of last year, Jason Box of Ohio State University in Columbus noticed a huge crack in the glacier's floating ice tongue, which acts as a conveyor belt, pushing the glacier's ice through a fjord and out to sea. The crack extended almost completely from one side of the fjord to the other, 16 kilometres away.

    This prompted Box and colleagues to return this year on the Arctic Sunrise, a Greenpeace vessel. The researchers are equipped with an arsenal of cameras and sensors, which they have been setting up on surrounding cliffs as well as on the ice itself.

    Break imminent
    Stitched together, the pictures they are taking will provide a blow-by-blow animation of the event. "We're looking on a minute by minute basis at what it's doing, how it's moving in relation to the rest of the glacier, and looking for that critical point where it fractures and breaks off," says Alun Hubbard, a glaciologist at the University Of Wales, UK.

    The team believes this will happen within weeks. Only yesterday, a 3-square-kilometre chunk broke away. There are now more than 10 cracks in the ice, some 500 metres wide. The researchers expect the ice tongue to break up within the coming weeks.

    When this happens, an island of ice the size of Manhattan, spanning 100 km2 holding 5 billion tonnes of ice, will break free and drift out to sea.

    Arctic glacier to lose Manhattan-sized 'tongue' - environment - 14 July 2009 - New Scientist
     
  2. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    oh no, the sky is falling.
     
  3. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    I'm mellllltinnnng!!!!
     
  4. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    Meh, again more whining about the natural cycle of water ...
     
  5. publicprotector
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    publicprotector Member

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    Who the hell cares, not me, BREAKING NEWS we live on a terra forming planet that is in a cycle of constant change, suprise.
     
  6. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    And now that the two digit IQ crowd has brayed their lack of concern, here is what scientists that study the subject have to say.


    Arctic Heats Up More than Other Places
    Released: 1/16/2009 9:00:00 AM

    Contact Information:
    U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
    Office of Communication
    119 National Center
    Reston, VA 20192 Joan Fitzpatrick
    Phone: 303-236-7881

    Jessica Robertson
    Phone: 703-648-6624



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Glacier and Ice-Sheet Melting, Sea-Ice Retreat and Coastal Erosion Expected as a Result
    Temperature change in the Arctic is happening at a greater rate than other places in the Northern Hemisphere, and this is expected to continue in the future.

    As a result, glacier and ice-sheet melting, sea-ice retreat, coastal erosion and sea level rise can be expected to continue.

    A new comprehensive scientific synthesis of past Arctic climates demonstrates for the first time the pervasive nature of Arctic climate amplification.

    The U.S. Geological Survey led this new assessment, which is a synthesis of published science literature and authored by a team of climate scientists from academia and government. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program commissioned the report, which has contributions from 37 scientists from the United States, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark. Related Podcasts

    Arctic Heats Up More than Other Places



    The new report also makes several conclusions about the Arctic:

    Taken together, the size and speed of the summer sea-ice loss over the last few decades is highly unusual compared to events from previous thousands of years, especially considering that changes in Earth's orbit over this time have made sea-ice melting less, not more, likely.

    Sustained warming of at least a few degrees (more than approximately 4° to 13°F above average 20th century values) is likely to be sufficient to cause the nearly complete, eventual disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet, which would raise sea level by several meters.

    The current rate of human-influenced Arctic warming is comparable to peak natural rates documented by reconstructions of past climates. However, some projections of future human-induced change exceed documented natural variability.

    The past tells us that when thresholds in the climate system are crossed, climate change can be very large and very fast. We cannot rule out that human induced climate change will trigger such events in the future.

    "By integrating research on the past 65 million years of climate change in the entire circum-Arctic, we have a better understanding on how climate change affects the Arctic and how those effects may impact the whole globe," said USGS Director Mark Myers. "This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of the real data we have on past climate conditions in the Arctic, with measurements from ice cores, sediments and other Earth materials that record temperature and other conditions."

    To view the full report, titled Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.2: Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes, and a summary brochure on this report, visit Website moved!.

    USGS Release: Arctic Heats Up More than Other Places (1/16/2009 9:00:00 AM)
     
  7. publicprotector
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    publicprotector Member

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    And again I ask the question what are you going to do about it, nothing, irrespective of what scientists say the Earth will continue with its cycles irrespective of mans activity. Only arrogant humans would assume that we could stop it or change it.
     

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