Abrupt Climate Change In The Arctic (And Beyond) An Update

AGU Fall Meeting 2013: Our understanding of future Arctic change is informed by the history of past changes, which often have been both large and abrupt. The well-known ice-age events such as the Younger Dryas show how sea-ice changes can amplify forcing to produce very large responses, with wintertime sea ice especially important. These changes…

NASA Operation IceBridge: Stunning Aircraft Travel – Documenting Antarctic and Greenland Change

Published on YouTube Aug 16, 2013: The views from the cockpit of NASA’s P-3B aircraft on an Operation IceBridge campaign are truly stunning. The mission doesn’t travel to both ends of the Earth for the scenery of course — the airborne mission is there to collect radar, laser altimetry, and other data on the changing…

A new inventory of mountain glaciers and ice caps for the Antarctic periphery

Andrew Bliss, Regine Hock, J. Graham Cogley | Source Abstract Although the glaciers in the Antarctic periphery make up a large fraction of all mountain glaciers and ice caps on Earth, a detailed glacier inventory of the region is lacking. We compile such an inventory, recording areas, area–altitude distributions, terminus characteristics and volume estimates.Glaciers on…

Subglacial Lakes

By Bethan Davies / AntarcticGlaciers.org Introduction | Radio echo sounding | Satellite altimetry: elevation changes | Effects of active lakes on ice dynamics | Drilling projects | References Introduction The Antarctic continent is underlain by subglacial lakes. Despite the fact that they are overlain by several kilometres of ice, these lakes are interconnected and water…

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…

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…