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…

Stable Antarctic Permafrost Melting Faster than Expected

University of Texas: July 24, 2013 AUSTIN, Texas — For the first time, scientists have documented an acceleration in the melt rate of permafrost, or ground ice, in a section of Antarctica where the ice had been considered stable. The melt rates are comparable with the Arctic, where accelerated melting of permafrost has become a…

Does Sea Ice loss create the condition for an emerging permanent El Nino state?

Recently Doug asked: “…my question is, how far could this phenomenon go? What is the “end” state? Is it possible for example that we could find the jet stream staying in place for months at a time, years, decades? How wavy could this waviness become?” A main theme of Sea ice loss seems to be…

Secrets of Abrupt Climate Shifts revisited

The understanding of the puzzle about what is going on with our climate system and possible implications improved recently. Let’s begin with going back to 2006, here i quote an excerpt from the blog post “Revealed: Secrets of Abrupt Climate Shifts” via RealClimate, describing more robust understanding of the bipolar / see-saw mechanism of the…

Exceptional 2012 Greenland Ice Melt Caused By Jet Stream Changes That May Be Driven By Global Warming

By Joe Romm / Climate Progress: New research finds that “unusual changes in atmospheric jet stream circulation caused the exceptional surface melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in summer 2012.” Prof. Jennifer Francis tells me these changes are consistent with those caused by warming-driven “Arctic Amplification.” And that means GrIS may melt faster than…

Research closes gap between Warming and CO2 Rise

Feedbacks in the climate system – in which warming is linked to natural CO2 increase, driving further warming – may operate faster than previously thought. ACE CRC: Researchers use Antarctic and Greenland ice cores to examine temperature and CO2 changes during the largest natural climate change in Earth’s recent climate history: the warming out of…

Catastrophic sea levels ‘distinct possibility’ this century

A breakthrough study of fluctuations in sea levels the last time Earth was between ice ages, as it is now, shows that oceans rose some three meters in only decades due to collapsing ice sheets. The findings suggest that such an scenario — which would redraw coastlines worldwide and unleash colossal human misery — is…

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…

Video: Lake El’gygytgyn, Pleistocene super-Interglacials and Arctic warmth

John Mason / Skeptical Science: Here is a must-see 2012 presentation by Julie Brigham-Grette of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, covering the research her team has been doing into Lake El’gygytgyn (pronouned El-Guh-Git-Kin), a water-filled meteor crater in Arctic Russia that came into being after the impact of a ~1km diameter space-rock, 3.6 million years ago.…

Waleed Abdalati (NASA): Dramatic Changes in Polar Ice

Video: Welcome to the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) Virtual Workshop live stream channel. Stay tuned to listen to featured keynote speakers covering research themes from climate modeling to remote sensing applications and high performance computing in Earth Sciences – Watch them live or browse through lectures from the video library. Please visit the NEX Virtual…