NASA: Latest Mapping Confirms Ice Loss

April 30, 2020

Below, more info-graphic wizardry from Kevin Pluck.

5 Responses to “NASA: Latest Mapping Confirms Ice Loss”

  1. redskylite Says:

    Very interesting and informative video from NASA on the polar icefields. This recent article from The Geological Society of America of interest,

    “This helps paint a picture of what happened during past warm periods when the melting ice sheet caused global sea levels to rise—a phenomenon we are also seeing today.”

    • redskylite Says:

      Also reported by NASA: –

      “Villages that have existed on the coast for thousands of years have begun collapsing, or washing into the ocean, due to a lack of sea ice and subsequent coastal erosion by warm waters,” Miller said. “Places like Kivalina, a village of 400 on Alaska’s west coast; and Shishmaref, a village of 600 on a small island off the Alaskan mainland north of the Bering Strait, are under serious threat. Some will be forced to relocate. The permafrost has literally been the bedrock these communities were built upon. Now, houses are just toppling over and roads are becoming virtually impassable.”

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    Antarctica and Greenland Raised Sea Levels More Than Half an Inch in Just 16 Years, New NASA Data Shows

    The study, published in Science Thursday, combines data from two NASA satellites: the original Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which took measurements from 2003 to 2009, and ICESat-2, launched in 2018. The two satellites allowed researchers to measure changes in ice mass from 2003 to 2019, and to calculate that Greenland and Antarctica contributed 0.55 inches to sea level rise during that time. That’s around a third of the global total, which was also driven by the expansion of oceans as they warm, NPR explained.

    “If you watch a glacier or ice sheet for a month, or a year, you’re not going to learn much about what the climate is doing to it,” University of Washington glaciologist and lead study author Ben Smith said in a NASA press release. “We now have a 16-year span between ICESat and ICESat-2 and can be much more confident that the changes we’re seeing in the ice have to do with the long-term changes in the climate.”

    The data also revealed that Greenland’s ice sheet lost an average of 200 gigatons of ice per year and Antarctica’s lost an average of 118. That’s more than 5,000 gigatons total, NPR reported. To put that in perspective, one gigaton is enough to fill 400,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

    In Greenland, two thirds of the ice loss was due to surface melting, something that rarely occurs in Antarctica, The New York Times said. Greenland also lost a lot of mass from its coastal glaciers, according to NASA. Its Kangerdulgssuaq and Jakobshavn glaciers have shrunken by 14 to 20 feet per year

    This level of detail is essential for helping coastal residents and governments plan for sea level rise, which is expected to reach two to six feet by 2100, according to CNBC.

    “Our goal is to be able to tell every coastal community what they can plan on [in] the coming decades,” Bell told NPR. “To be able to do that, we both need to measure how the ice is changing but also understand better why it’s changing.”

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    Greenland’s Nearing a Climate Tipping Point. How Long Warming Lasts Will Decide Its Fate, Study Says

    Past meltdowns occurred with temperatures only slightly higher than today’s, suggesting the world is overestimating the ice sheet’s stability, scientists say.


    What’s Driving Antarctica’s Meltdown?

    Antarctica’s ice loss is on the rise. Along with warmer water eating away at ice shelves from below, atmospheric rivers are causing trouble from above.

  4. Sir Charles Says:

    Dwindling Arctic Sea Ice May Affect Tropical Weather Patterns

    A new study finds a possible link between Arctic warming and more frequent El Niños in the Central Pacific.


    Climate Science Discoveries of the Decade: New Risks Scientists Warned About in the 2010s

    A decade of ice, ocean and atmospheric studies found systems nearing dangerous tipping points. As the evidence mounted, countries worldwide began to see the risk.

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