Antarctica ice loss has tripled in past decade

Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017 – ocean-driven melting has caused rates of ice loss from West Antarctica to increase from 53 ± 29 billion to 159 ± 26 billion tonnes per year; ice-shelf collapse has increased the rate of ice loss from the Antarctic Peninsula from 7 ± 13 billion to 33 ± 16 billion tonnes per…

Study: Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise (2016)

A study published in March 2016, suggests that large parts of East Antarctica’s ice sheet can collapse, can do so under Pliocene conditions. A key question has long been whether ice sheet contribution could accelerate substantially, by an order of magnitude, either in this century or subsequently. Until recently ice sheet models had problems to…

NASA experts explain ice melt in Antarctica

NASA hosted a media teleconference to discuss new research results on the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to future sea level rise. The briefing participants are: — Eric Rignot, professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine, and glaciologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,…

Stefan Rahmstorf: The critical threshold, the “tipping point” in West Antarctica has now passed

Recently the ClimateState staff, interviewed Stefan Rahmstorf, Head of Earth System Analysis, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Robert Bristow: To get CO2 emissions under control – do you think some form of geoengineering (i.e CO2 scrubbing) will be desirable? Stefan Rahmstorf: The term geoengineering or climate engineering, encompasses a wide range…

The Runaway Glaciers in West Antarctica

NASA/JPL press release, May 12, 2014: A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. The study presents…

Antarctica’s ice loss on the rise (December 2013)

Published 11 December 2013 | Release URL (ESA CryoSat) Three years of observations by ESA’s CryoSat satellite show that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing over 150 cubic kilometres of ice each year – considerably more than when last surveyed. The imbalance in West Antarctica continues to be dominated by ice losses from glaciers flowing…

Extensive ice in Antarctica

Released by National Snow and Ice Data Center | Access date January 4, 2013. While it is early winter in the Arctic, it is early summer in the Antarctic. Continuing patterns seen in recent years, Antarctic sea ice extent remains unusually high, near or above previous daily maximum values for each day in November. Sea ice…

Singapore sized iceberg breaks off in Antarctica

Pine Island Glacier 2013, Nov. 10: This MODIS image taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite on Nov. 10, 2013, shows an iceberg that was part of the Pine Island Glacier and is now separating from the Antarctica continent. What appears to be a connection point on the top left portion of the iceberg is actually ice…

Under the Ice: A closer look at recent Antarctica and Greenland Ice Melt

Source: Polar science news in brief “Environ Earth Sci (2013) 68:1813–1821 DOI 10.1007/s12665-012-2185-y by David Carlson Summary Antarctica Satellite radar altimetry since 2002 shows accelerated thinning (Amundsen Sea, Pine Island and Thwaites glacial ice streams) Laser altimetry shows thinning on 20 of 54 Antarctic ice shelves Ice shelves buttress their tributary glaciers, melt-induced thinning of…

First evidence of under-ice volcanic eruption in Antarctica

The first evidence of a volcanic eruption from beneath Antarctica’s most rapidly changing ice sheet. The volcano on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet erupted 2000 years ago (325BC) and remains active. Using airborne ice-sounding radar, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) discovered a layer of ash produced by a ‘subglacial’ volcano. It extends across an…

Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica

We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic…