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Tag: Glacier

Jakobshavn Isbrae: Mighty Greenland glacier slams on brakes

Jakobshavn Isbrae: Mighty Greenland glacier slams on brakes

Science
European satellites have detailed the abrupt change in behaviour of one of Greenland's most important glaciers.In the 2000s, Jakobshavn Isbrae was the fastest flowing ice stream on the island, travelling at 17km a year.As it sped to the ocean, its front end also retreated and thinned, dropping in height by as much as 20m year.But now it's all change. Jakobshavn is travelling much more slowly, and its trunk has even begun to thicken and lengthen."It's a complete reversal in behaviour and it wasn't predicted," said Dr Anna Hogg from Leeds University and the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM)."The question now is: what's next for Jakobshavn? Is this just a pause, or is it a switch-off of the dynamic thinning we've ...
Melting Antarctic glacier could increase global sea levels 8 feet

Melting Antarctic glacier could increase global sea levels 8 feet

Science
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A large hole under an Antarctic glacier is a sign of rapid decay that could lead to dramatic sea level rise, a study says. A cavity two-thirds the size of Manhattan and nearly 1,000 feet tall is growing beneath Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, according to study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. "We have suspected for years that Thwaites was not tightly attached to the bedrock beneath it," Eric Rignot, a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and study author, said in a news release. "Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we can finally see the detail." Researchers discovered the cavity during Operation IceBridge, an aerial expedition launched in 2010 to explore the relationship between polar regions and the global climate. They used NAS...
Major expedition targets Thwaites Glacier

Major expedition targets Thwaites Glacier

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device The US icebreaker Nathaniel B Palmer leaves Punta Arenas in Chile on Tuesday to begin an expedition to Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier.The huge ice stream in West Antarctica is currently melting, and scientists want to understand its likely future contribution to sea-level rise.If all of Thwaites' frozen bulk were to give way, it would add 80cm to the height of the world's oceans."How much, how fast? That's our mantra," said Dr Robert Larter."These are the questions we're asking about Thwaites," the British Antarctic Survey scientist told BBC News before leaving Chile. Dr Larter will be directing operations on the Palmer when it gets on site. What is the purpose of th...
Melting glacier in China draws tourists, climate worries

Melting glacier in China draws tourists, climate worries

Technology
The loud crack rang out from the fog above the Baishui No. 1 Glacier as a stone shard careened down the ice, flying past Chen Yanjun as he operated a GPS device. More projectiles were tumbling down the hulk of ice that scientists say is one of the world's fastest melting glaciers. "We should go," said the 30-year-old geologist. "The first rule is safety." Chen hiked away and onto a barren landscape once buried beneath the glacier. Now there is exposed rock littered with oxygen tanks discarded by tourists visiting the 15,000-foot (4,570-meter) -high blanket of ice in southern China. Millions of people each year are drawn to Baishui's frosty beauty on the southeastern edge of the Third Pole —— a region in Central Asia with the world's third-largest store of ice after Antarctica...
Iceberg 4 miles wide breaks off from Greenland glacier

Iceberg 4 miles wide breaks off from Greenland glacier

Technology
An iceberg four miles (six kilometers) wide has broken off from a glacier in eastern Greenland and scientists have captured the dramatic event on video. New York University professor David Holland, an expert in atmospheric and ocean science, told The Associated Press that "this is the largest event we've seen in over a decade in Greenland." A June 22 video of the incident was taken by his wife, Denise Holland of NYU's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. They had camped by the Helheim Glacier for weeks to collect data to better project sea level changes due to global warming. Holland said Wednesday that the time-lapse video, which is speeded up 20 times, shows "3 percent of the annual ice loss of Greenland occur in 30 minutes." "It sounded like rockets going off," he said, describing...