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Topic: University of California at Irvine

NASA Satellite Data reveals Climate Change effect on Fires

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Hot and dry. NASA says these are the watchwords for large fires. While every fire needs a spark to ignite and fuel to burn, it’s the hot and dry conditions in the atmosphere that determine the likelihood of a fire starting, its intensity and the speed at which it spreads. Over the past several decades, as the world has increasingly warmed, so has its potential to burn.

Since 1880, the world has warmed by 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit, with the five warmest years on record occurring in the last five years. Since the 1980s, the wildfire season has lengthened across a quarter of the world’s vegetated surface, and in some places like California, fire has become nearly a year-round risk.

Fires are a natural part of the ecosystem in North American forests. However, their size and intensity is shaped by climate. (NASA)

Fires are a natural part of the ecosystem in North American forests. However, their size and intensity is shaped by climate. (NASA)

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NASA study shows Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is disintegrating

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A gigantic cavity – two-thirds the area of Manhattan and almost 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall – growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is one of several disturbing discoveries reported in a new NASA-led study of the disintegrating glacier.

The findings highlight the need for detailed observations of Antarctic glaciers’ undersides in calculating how fast global sea levels will rise in response to climate change.

Researchers expected to find some gaps between ice and bedrock at Thwaites’ bottom where ocean water could flow in and melt the glacier from below.

Thwaites Glacier. (NASA/OIB/Jeremy Harbeck)

Thwaites Glacier. (NASA/OIB/Jeremy Harbeck)

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NASA’s new simulator allows anyone to experiment with Sea Level Science

 

Written by Pat Brennan
NASA’s Sea Level Portal

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new NASA sea level simulator lets you bury Alaska’s Columbia glacier in snow, and, year by year, watch how it responds. Or you can melt the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and trace rising seas as they inundate the Florida coast.

Computer models are critical tools for understanding the future of a changing planet, including melting ice, rising seas and shifting precipitation patterns. But typically, these mathematical representations — long chains of computer code giving rise to images of dynamic change — are accessible mainly to scientists.

A simulation by VESL of Columbia Glacier, Alaska. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A simulation by VESL of Columbia Glacier, Alaska. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA reports newest Greenland Maps Show more Glaciers at Risk of Accelerated Melting

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – New maps of Greenland’s coastal seafloor and bedrock beneath its massive ice sheet show that two to four times as many coastal glaciers are at risk of accelerated melting as previously thought.

Researchers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI), NASA and 30 other institutions have published the most comprehensive, accurate and high-resolution relief maps ever made of Greenland’s bedrock and coastal seafloor. Among the many data sources incorporated into the new maps are data from NASA’s Ocean Melting Greenland (OMG) campaign.

Left: Greenland topography color coded color-coded from 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) below sea level (dark blue) to 4,900 feet above (brown). Right: Regions below sea level connected to the ocean; darker colors are deeper. The thin white line shows the current extent of the ice sheet. (UCI)

Left: Greenland topography color coded color-coded from 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) below sea level (dark blue) to 4,900 feet above (brown). Right: Regions below sea level connected to the ocean; darker colors are deeper. The thin white line shows the current extent of the ice sheet. (UCI)

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NASA Study reveals Antarctic Glacier’s Ice Loss May Not Progress as Quickly as Thought

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The melt rate of West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier is an important concern, because this glacier alone is currently responsible for about 1 percent of global sea level rise. A new NASA study finds that Thwaites’ ice loss will continue, but not quite as rapidly as previous studies have estimated.

The new study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, finds that numerical models used in previous studies have overestimated how rapidly ocean water is able to melt the glacier from below, leading them to overestimate the glacier’s total ice loss over the next 50 years by about 7 percent.

Thwaites Glacier. (NASA/James Yungel)

Thwaites Glacier. (NASA/James Yungel)

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NASA reports new study reveals Intense Melting beneath West Antarctic Glaciers

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Two new studies by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI), detect the fastest ongoing rates of glacier retreat ever observed in West Antarctica and offer an unprecedented direct view of intense ice melting from the floating undersides of glaciers.

The results highlight how the interaction between ocean conditions and the bedrock beneath a glacier can influence the glacier’s evolution, with implications for understanding future ice loss from Antarctica and global sea level rise.

A view from Operation IceBridge's aircraft of Crosson Ice Shelf, foreground. Mt. Murphy is in the background. (NASA/OIB/Michael Studinger)

A view from Operation IceBridge’s aircraft of Crosson Ice Shelf, foreground. Mt. Murphy is in the background. (NASA/OIB/Michael Studinger)

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NASA Satellite data reveals Earth’s land masses are absorbing Water and slowing Sea Level rise

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New measurements from a NASA satellite have allowed researchers to identify and quantify, for the first time, how climate-driven increases of liquid water storage on land have affected the rate of sea level rise.

A new study by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the University of California, Irvine, shows that while ice sheets and glaciers continue to melt, changes in weather and climate over the past decade have caused Earth’s continents to soak up and store an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, temporarily slowing the rate of sea level rise by about 20 percent.

Earth's land masses have stored increasing amounts of water in the last decade, slowing the pace of sea level rise. (U.S. National Park Service)

Earth’s land masses have stored increasing amounts of water in the last decade, slowing the pace of sea level rise. (U.S. National Park Service)

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NASA studies how 2015 El Niño effects the World’s Climate

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – People the world over are feeling, or will soon feel, the effects of the strongest El Niño event since 1997-98, currently unfolding in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. New NASA satellite observations are beginning to show scientists its impact on the distribution of rain, tropospheric ozone and wildfires around the globe.

New results presented Tuesday, December 15th, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco show that atmospheric rivers, significant sources of rainfall, tend to intensify during El Niño events, and this year’s strong El Niño likely will bring more precipitation to California and some relief for the drought.

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NASA study shows Major Greenland Glacier breaking up

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – It’s big. It’s cold. And it’s melting into the world’s ocean.

It’s Zachariae Isstrom, the latest in a string of Greenland glaciers to undergo rapid change in our warming world. A new NASA-funded study published in the journal Science finds that Zachariae Isstrom broke loose from a glaciologically stable position in 2012 and entered a phase of accelerated retreat. The consequences will be felt for decades to come.

The reason? Zachariae Isstrom is big. It drains ice from an area of 35,440 square miles (91,780 square kilometers).

Landsat-8 image of Greenland's Zachariae Isstrom and Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glaciers, acquired on Aug. 30, 2014. (NASA/USGS)

Landsat-8 image of Greenland’s Zachariae Isstrom and Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glaciers, acquired on Aug. 30, 2014. (NASA/USGS)

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NASA reports on the Hidden Melting of Greenland’s Glaciers

 

Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – More than 90 percent of our planet’s freshwater ice is bound in the massive ice sheets and glaciers of the Antarctic and Greenland. As temperatures around the world slowly climb, melt waters from these vast stores of ice add to rising sea levels.

All by itself, Greenland could bump sea levels by 7 meters (23 feet) if its ice melted completely.

And … it’s melting.

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