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…

Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth

There is clear evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is contributing to sea-level rise. In contrast, West Antarctic temperature changes in recent decades remain uncertain. West Antarctica has probably warmed since the 1950s, but there is disagreement regarding the magnitude, seasonality and spatial extent of this warming. This is primarily because long-term near-surface temperature…

West Antarctic rapid glacier retreat may be exceptional during the Holocene

Ice loss from the marine-based, potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) contributes to current sea-level rise and may raise sea level by ≤3.3 m or even ≤5 m in the future. Over the past few decades, glaciers draining the WAIS into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) have shown accelerated ice flow, rapid thinning, and…

Climate Change Puts Even ‘Safe’ Species at Risk

By Tim Redford, Climate News Network: LONDON—Climate change doesn’t just threaten species that are already vulnerable – it could have alarming consequences for a huge range of birds, corals and amphibians that no-one had considered in danger of extinction before, according to a new study. Wendy Foden of the International Union for the Conservation of…

Carbon Dioxide Is ‘Driving Fish Crazy’

Science Daily: Jan. 21, 2012 — Rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous system of sea fishes with serious consequences for their survival, an international scientific team has found. Carbon dioxide concentrations predicted to occur in the ocean by the end of this century will interfere with fishes’ ability…

The state of the climate and national security

The release of huge quantities of previously stored “multiyear/deep layer” carbon deposite and equivalent greenhouse gases (CO2/CH4/N2O, from soil and water) can act like a trigger to boot the earth systems. This boot begins initially with a transition phase depending on the rate of emissions and in further development creates several large scale carbon excursions…

Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss

EurekAlert British Antarctic Survey Jul 25 2012: Scientists have discovered a one mile deep rift valley hidden beneath the ice in West Antarctica, which they believe is contributing to ice loss from this part of the continent. Experts from the University of Aberdeen and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) made the discovery below Ferrigno Ice Stream,…

The N Hemisphere’s Atmospheric Circulation Has Collapsed Creating a Persistent Polar Cyclone

By FishOutOfWater / DailyKos: 500mb heights Normal for May 21 to June 6; 1980-2010 Average 500mb heights for May 21 to June 6 2013 A sudden stratospheric warming split the polar vortex in two in mid-January. Since then, the northern hemisphere’s atmospheric circulation has been behaving very strangely. An area of extreme high pressure formed…

How Hot will it Get?

The latest projections about the extent of planetary warming and the dire consequences of our growing carbon imbalance. Series: “Science at the Theater” [Science] A special Earth Day edition of Science at the Theater —”How Hot Will It Get?” — Featuring presentations by Lab climate scientists Bill Collins, Margaret Torn, Michael Wehner, and Jeff Chambers,…