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Topic: Glaciers

NASA Scientists report Warming Seas are Accelerating Greenland’s Glacier Retreat

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Scientists with NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland mission are probing deep below the island’s warming coastal waters to help us better predict the rising seas of the future.

Greenland’s melting glaciers, which plunge into Arctic waters via steep-sided inlets, or fjords, are among the main contributors to global sea-level rise in response to climate change. Gaining a better understanding of how warming ocean water affects these glaciers will help improve predictions of their fate. Such predictions could in turn be used by communities around the world to better prepare for flooding and mitigate coastal ecosystem damage.

Warmer ocean waters are speeding up the rate at which Greenland’s glaciers are melting and calving, or breaking off to form icebergs. This is causing the glaciers to retreat toward land, hastening the loss of ice from Greenland’s Ice Sheet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Warmer ocean waters are speeding up the rate at which Greenland’s glaciers are melting and calving, or breaking off to form icebergs. This is causing the glaciers to retreat toward land, hastening the loss of ice from Greenland’s Ice Sheet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Scientists report Warming Climate taking its toll on Greenland, Antarctica Glaciers

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says that when an ice cube is exposed to a heat source, like warm water or air, it melts. So, it’s no surprise that a warming climate is causing our glaciers and ice sheets to melt. However, predicting just how much the glaciers and ice sheets will melt and how quickly – key components of sea level rise – is not nearly as straightforward.

Glaciers and ice sheets are far more complex structures than ice cubes. They form when snow accumulates and is compressed into ice by new snow over many years.

NASA scientists traverse Antarctica's icy landscape, towing scientific instruments and cold-weather gear with them. The team was tasked with collecting ground data to verify the accuracy of measurements made by the IceSat-2 satellite. (NASA)

NASA scientists traverse Antarctica’s icy landscape, towing scientific instruments and cold-weather gear with them. The team was tasked with collecting ground data to verify the accuracy of measurements made by the IceSat-2 satellite. (NASA)

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NASA study reveals Greenland’s Retreating Glaciers could Impact Local Ecology

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new study of Greenland’s shrinking ice sheet reveals that many of the island’s glaciers are not only retreating, but are also undergoing other physical changes. Some of those changes are causing the rerouting of freshwater rivers beneath the glaciers, where it meets the bedrock.

These rivers carry nutrients into the ocean, so this reconfiguring has the potential to impact the local ecology as well as the human communities that depend on it.

Greenland appears in this image created using data from the ITS_LIVE project, hosted at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The coloring around the coast of the arctic island shows the speed of outlet glaciers flowing into the ocean. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS)

Greenland appears in this image created using data from the ITS_LIVE project, hosted at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The coloring around the coast of the arctic island shows the speed of outlet glaciers flowing into the ocean. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS)

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30 years of NASA satellite data reveals Glacial Lakes Growing

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In the largest-ever study of glacial lakes, researchers using 30 years of NASA satellite data have found that the volume of these lakes worldwide has increased by about 50% since 1990 as glaciers melt and retreat due to climate change.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, will aid researchers assessing the potential hazards to communities downstream of these often unstable lakes and help improve the accuracy of sea level rise estimates by advancing our understanding of how glacial meltwater is transported to the oceans.

Lake Imja near Mount Everest in the Himalaya is a glacier lake that has grown to three times its length since 1990. (Planetary Science Institute/Jeffrey S. Kargel)

Lake Imja near Mount Everest in the Himalaya is a glacier lake that has grown to three times its length since 1990. (Planetary Science Institute/Jeffrey S. Kargel)

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NASA study brings new insights into causes of Sea Level Rise Since 1900

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – To make better predictions about the future impacts of sea level rise, new techniques are being developed to fill gaps in the historic record of sea level measurements.

We know the factors that play a role in sea level rise: Melting glaciers and ice sheets add water to the seas, and warmer temperatures cause water to expand.

Other factors are known to slow the rise, such as dams impounding water on the land, stymying its flow into the sea.

This aerial photograph shows fast-moving meltwater rivers flowing across the Greenland Ice Sheet, a region that, combined with Antarctic meltwater and thermal expansion, accounts for two-thirds of observed global mean sea level rise. (NASA)

This aerial photograph shows fast-moving meltwater rivers flowing across the Greenland Ice Sheet, a region that, combined with Antarctic meltwater and thermal expansion, accounts for two-thirds of observed global mean sea level rise. (NASA)

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Austin Peay State University professors bring diverse science lessons to Governor’s School of Computational Physics

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – In a typical year, the Governor’s School for Computational Physics at Austin Peay State University (APSU) includes two field trips to renowned nearby science centers.

But this year isn’t typical.

Friction Stir Welding. (APSU)

Friction Stir Welding. (APSU)

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NASA reports Arctic Regions Ice Melts speed up Freshwater Depletion

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Seven of the regions that dominate global ice mass losses are melting at an accelerated rate, a new study shows, and the quickened melt rate is depleting freshwater resources that millions of people depend on.

The impact of melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica on the world’s oceans is well documented. But the largest contributors to sea level rise in the 20th century were melting ice caps and glaciers located in seven other regions: Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Southern Andes, High Mountain Asia, the Russian Arctic, Iceland and the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard. The five Arctic regions accounted for the greatest share of ice loss.

A small glacier in the Arctic region of Norwegian archipelago Svalbard, as photographed by NASA's Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX). This is one of the seven regions where ice loss is accelerating, causing the depletion of freshwater resources. (NASA/John Sonntag)

A small glacier in the Arctic region of Norwegian archipelago Svalbard, as photographed by NASA’s Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX). This is one of the seven regions where ice loss is accelerating, causing the depletion of freshwater resources. (NASA/John Sonntag)

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NASA keeps tabs on Rising Seas, Flooding Mitigation, Disaster Response

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Greenland and coastal Louisiana may not seem to have a lot in common. An autonomous territory of Denmark, Greenland is covered in snow most of the year and is home to about 56,000 people. On the other hand, more than 2 million people call coastal Louisiana home and the region rarely sees snow.

But their economies, though 3,400 miles (5,400 kilometers) apart, share a dependence on the sea. The majority of Greenland’s residents rely on the territory’s robust Arctic fishing industry. And in Louisiana, the coasts, ports and wetlands provide the basis for everything from shipping to fishing to tourism. As a result, both locales and the people who live in them are linked by a common environmental thread: melting ice and consequent sea level rise.

The Mississippi River Delta contains vast areas of marshes, swamps and barrier islands - important for wildlife and as protective buffers against storms and hurricanes. Rapid land subsidence due to sediment compaction and dewatering increases the rate of submergence in this system. (K.L. McKee / U.S. Geological Survey)

The Mississippi River Delta contains vast areas of marshes, swamps and barrier islands – important for wildlife and as protective buffers against storms and hurricanes. Rapid land subsidence due to sediment compaction and dewatering increases the rate of submergence in this system. (K.L. McKee / U.S. Geological Survey)

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NASA’s Operation IceBridge finishes Eleventh Year of Polar Surveys

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – For eleven years from 2009 through 2019, the planes of NASA’s Operation IceBridge flew above the Arctic, Antarctic and Alaska, gathering data on the height, depth, thickness, flow and change of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets.

Designed to collect data during the years between NASA’s two Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellites, ICESat and ICESat-2, IceBridge made its final polar flight in November 2019, one year after ICESat-2’s successful launch.

As the team and planes move on to their next assignments, the scientists and engineers reflected on a decade of IceBridge’s most significant accomplishments.

NASA’s Operation IceBridge, a ten-year mission to collect polar data between ICESat and ICESat-2, may be coming to a close, but its hundreds of terabytes of data and the expertise of its team will continue to fuel research and discovery for decades to come. (NASA / Jim Yungel)

NASA’s Operation IceBridge, a ten-year mission to collect polar data between ICESat and ICESat-2, may be coming to a close, but its hundreds of terabytes of data and the expertise of its team will continue to fuel research and discovery for decades to come. (NASA / Jim Yungel)

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NASA study shows Greenland Ice Sheet Melting means rise in Sea Levels, more Flooding

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The Greenland Ice Sheet is rapidly melting, having lost 3.8 trillion tons of ice between 1992 and 2018, a new study from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) finds. The study combined 26 independent satellite datasets to track global warming’s effect on Greenland, one of the largest ice sheets on Earth, and the ice sheet melt’s impact on rising sea levels.

The findings, which forecast an approximate 3 to 5 inches (70 to 130 millimeters) of global sea level rise by 2100, are in alignment with previous worst-case projections if the average rate of Greenland’s ice loss continues.

The Greenland Ice Sheet, seen here in Oct. 2018, is melting at a rapidly accelerating rate because of Earth's warming climate. As the ice melts into the ocean, it raises the sea level around the world, causing flooding and other damage to coastal communities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Greenland Ice Sheet, seen here in Oct. 2018, is melting at a rapidly accelerating rate because of Earth’s warming climate. As the ice melts into the ocean, it raises the sea level around the world, causing flooding and other damage to coastal communities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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