Melting Greenland Is Awash in Sand - The New York Times
Melting Greenland Is Awash in Sand - The New York Times
The end of the Arctic as we know it | Environment | The Guardian
Less oxygen and ice, more acid and heat. Jonathan Watts joins an expedition studying what this means for the planet
Fri 7 Jun 2019 15.00 BST
The demise of an entire ocean is almost too enormous to grasp, but as the expedition sails deeper into the Arctic, the colossal processes of breakdown are increasingly evident.
The first fragment of ice appears off the starboard bow a few miles before the 79th parallel in the Fram strait, which lies between Greenland and the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. The solitary floe is soon followed by another, then another, then clusters, then swarms, then entire fields of white crazy paving that stretch to the horizon.
Snow grain size – it matters
Most of us probably wouldn’t think of describing snow in terms of its grain size. However, grain size is fundamental to the amount of sunlight that snow reflects back into space – its albedo. With both snow and albedo part of the climate system, scientists are applying a novel analytical theory to Copernicus Sentinel-3 data and shedding new light on Greenland’s changing albedo.
Greenland is melting even faster than experts thought, study finds - CNN
Climate change is eliminating giant chunks of ice from Greenland at such a speed that the melt has already made a significant contribution to sea level rise, according to a new study. With global warming, the island will lose much more, threatening coastal cities around the world.
Forty-six years of Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance from 1972 to 2018
Jérémie Mouginot, Eric Rignot, Anders A. Bjørk, Michiel van den Broeke, Romain Millan, Mathieu Morlighem, Brice Noël, Bernd Scheuchl, and Michael Wood, PNAS (2019)
Global warming: Earth carbon dioxide levels highest in 3 million years
Greenland was mostly green the last time carbon levels were this high.
Key Greenland glacier growing again after shrinking for years, #NASA study shows
While this is “good news” on a temporary basis, this is bad news on the long term because it tells scientists that ocean temperature is a bigger player in glacier retreats and advances than previously thought, said NASA climate scientist Josh Willis, a study co-author. Over the decades the water has been and will be warming from man-made climate change, he said, noting that about 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases goes into the oceans.
“In the long run we’ll probably have to raise our predictions of sea level rise again,” Willis said.
But it is worse than that, par Marc Doll
I realize there is something I have known for some time but have never said, and, since I have just spent another 4 hours of my life in climate change academia I have to get this out of my system.
Please understand that many you reading this won’t live to an old age... and likely will start scrolling after one or 2 more paragraphs... (edit...Ok I was wrong on this point. This is now my 2nd most shared post of all time..(edit)...make that my most shared)
The IPCC report and Paris accord are incredibly overly optimistic and that commits the world to a target that means the death of hundreds of millions if not more.
But it is worse than that.
Even the commitments made by countries in the Paris accord don’t get us to a 2 degree world.
But it is worse than that.
The 2 degree target is now unattainable (unless of course the entirety of civilization does a 180 today...) and is based on geo-engineering the climate of the earth as well as the sequestering of every molecule of carbon we have produced since 1987, as well as every molecule we are producing today,as well as every molecule we produce tomorrow.... with magical technologies that don’t exist, wont exist and, even if they did would likely cause as many if not more problems than they fix.
But it is worse than that.
The 2 degree target of the IPCC does not factor in the feedback loops such as the increase absorption of heat due to a drastic reduction in the albedo (reflectivity) effect caused by the 70% loss of arctic ice,..- the release of methane from a thawing arctic. (there is more energy stored in the arctic methane than there is in coal in the world). This is called the methane dragon. If the process of the release of the methane, currently frozen in the soil and ocean beds of the arctic, which may have already begun, but if it spins out of control we are looking a an 8 degree rise in temperature.
But it is worse than that.
The report which gives us 12 years to get our head’s out of our arses underestimated the amount of heat stored in the world’s oceans, as we descovered in mid-January by 40%... so no , we don’t have 12 more years.
But it is worse than that.
The IPCC report ignores the effects of humans messing up the Nitrogen cycle through agricultural fertilizers and more... Don’t go down this rabbit hole if you want to sleep at night.
But it is worse than that.
Sea level rise will not be gradual. Even assuming that the billions of tons of water that is currently being dumped down to the ground level of Greenland isn’t creating a lubricant which eventually will allow the ice to free-flow into the northern oceans; it is only the friction to the islands surface that is currently holding the ice back. Then consider the same process is happening in Antarctica but is also coupled with the disappearance of the ice shelves which act as buttresses holding the glaciers from free flowing into the southern ocean. then factor in thermal expansions; the simple fact that warmer water takes up more space and It becomes clear that we are not looking at maintaining the current 3.4mm/yr increase in sea level rise (which incidentally is terrifying when you multiply it out over decades and centuries.) We will be looking at major calving events that will result in much bigger yearly increases coupled with an exponential increase in glacial melting. We know that every increase of 100ppm of C02 increases sea level by about 100 feet. We have already baked in 130 feet of sea level rise. It is just a question of how long it is going to take to get there... and then keep on rising..
But it is worse than that.
Insects are disappearing at 6 times the speed of larger animals and at a rate of about 2.5% of their biomass every year. These are our pollinators. These are links in our food chain. These represent the basic functioning of every terrestrial ecosystem.
But it is worse than that.
58% of the biomass of vertebrae life on earth has been lost since 1970. That is basically in my lifetime!
But it is worse than that.
The amount of Carbon we add to the atmosphere is equal to a yearly a human caused forest fire 20% bigger than the continent of Africa. Yes, that is every single year!
But it is worse than that.
Drought in nearly every food producing place in the world is expected to intensify by mid-century and make them basically unusable by the end of the century... Then factor in the end of Phosphorus (China and Russia have already stopped exporting it knowing this) and the depletion of aquifers and you come to the conclusion that feeding the planet becomes impossible.
But it is worse than that.
We can no longer save the society that we live in and many of us are going to be dead long before our life expectancy would suggest.
If your idea of hope is having some slightly modified Standard of living going forward and live to ripe old age... there is no hope. This civilization is over...
..but there is hope..
There is a way for some to come through this and have an enjoyable life on the other side. Every day we delay can be measured in human lives. There will come a day of inaction when that number includes someone you love, yourself or myself.
So we have 2 options.
Wake the fuck up. If we do we will only have to experience the end of our society as we know it aka...the inevitable economic collapse which is now unavoidable, but be able to save and rebuild something new on the other side. This would require a deep adaptation. Words like sustainability would need to be seen as toxic and our focus needs be on regeneration. Regeneration of soil, forests, grasslands, oceans etc.... This is all possible.
Option 2 is the path we are on thinking that we can slowly adapt to change. This not only ensures we experience collapse but also condemns humanity to not just economic and social collapse but in a 4-6 or even an 8 degree world... extinction.
I am sick of pipeline discussions. I am sick of any argument that is predicated on the defeatist assumption that we will continue to burn oil at an ever increasing rate simply because it is what we have always done. Fact is if we do we are not just fucked, we are dead. I am sick of people who don’t understand how their food is produced, and its effect on the climate.(both carnivores who eat feed-lot meat and vegans who eat industrially-produced-mono-cropped-veggies as they are equally guilty here. The consumption of either is devastating). I am sick of the tons of shiny new clothes people are wearing without realizing 1 Kg of cotton takes over 10 thousand Liters of water and incredible amounts of energy to produce. I am sickened by the amount of that same clothing hits the landfill in near new condition. I am sick of the argument that our oil is less poisonous than someone else’s. Firstly, no it isn’t and secondly, It doesn’t fucking matter. I am sick of people that can’t even handle the ridiculously-small, only-the-tip-of- the-iceberg-of-changes we need to accept; a carbon tax. I am sick of the fact that the political will seems only capable of focusing on the individual consumer through small measures like a carbon tax but no elected Party seems to have the fortitude to enact policies that take it to the small handful of companies that are responsible for 70% of our current C02 production. I am sick of my own hypocrisy that allows me to still use fossil fuels for transportation. I am sick of those who use hypocrisy as an argument against action. I am sick of the Leadership of my country that argues we can have economic growth and survivable environment... we can’t. I am sickened by the normalizing of the leadership of our Southern neighbour who as the most polluting nation in the world officially ignores even the tragedy that is the Paris accord. I am sick of the politicians I worked to get elected being impotent on this subject. Naheed and Greg I’m looking at you. (BTW...Druh, you are an exception) I am sick that the next image I put up of my kids, cheese, pets or bread is going to gain immeasurably more attention than a post such as this which actually has meaning... I am sick about the fact that all the information I referenced here is easily discoverable in scientific journals through a simple google search but will be characterized by many as hyperbolic.
I am confused as to who I am more upset with. Those who have fallen for the denier propaganda, those who choose to be willfully ignorant, those who understand this issue and throw their hands up in a fit of lazy despair or those who are as cognitive as I am to the urgency of this issue yet continue living day-to-day feeling self-satisfied with their recycling, electric car, voting record or some other equally inane lifestyle modification while waiting for society to hit the tipping point so they don’t have to actually put their values into practice (which despite my recent life changes still more or less includes me). All that said...
There is a path forward.
But every day we delay the path forward includes fewer of us. Build community, build resilience, work for food security, think regeneration, plant food producing trees, think perennial food production, turn your waste products into resources, eat food that does not mine the soil and is locally produced, eat meat that is grass fed in a holistic or intensively rotated (ideally holistically grazed in a silvopasture ) that is used to provide nutrients to vegetation, get to know a farmer or become one yourself, park your car, do not vote for anyone who either ignores climate change or says we can have our cake and eat it too, quit your job if it is fossil fuel related (it is better than losing it... which you will), stop buying shit, stop buying expensive cars and overly large houses and then complain that local planet saving food costs more than Costco. Stop buying things that are designed to break and be disposed-of, let go of this society slowly and by your own volition (its better than being forced to do it quickly), Rip up your lawn and plant a garden with perennial veggies, fruit bushes, fruit trees and nut trees. Learn to compost your own poop (it is easy and doesn’t stink). Buy an apple with a blemish, Get a smaller house on a bigger lot and regenerate that land, Plant a guerrilla garden on a city road allowance. Return to the multi-generational house, Realize that growth has only been a thing in human civilization for 250 years and it is about to end and make preparations for this change. Teach this to your children. Buy only the necessities, don’t buy new clothes-go to the thrift store. Don’t use single use plastic or if you do re-purpose it, Unplug your garberator and compost everything, Relearn old forgotten skills. Don’t let yourself get away with the argument that the plane is going there anyway when you book a holiday. Understand that there is no such thing as the new normal because next year will be worse, Understand before you make the argument that we need to reduce human population ... meaning the population elsewhere... that it is not overpopulation in China or India that is causing the current problem... It is us and our “western” lifestyle, Understand that those that are currently arguing against refugees and climate change are both increasing the effects of climate change and causing millions of climate refugees... which will be arriving on Canada’s doorstep because Canada, due to our size and Northern Latitude, will on the whole have some of the best climate refuges. Understand that the densification of cities is condemning those in that density to a food-less future. Stop tolerating the middle ground on climate change. there is no middle ground on gravity, the earth is round, and we are on the verge of collapse.
At last check over 25000 shares. Thank you for reading.
Thanks to Dr. Eric Rignot, Rupert Read , Dr. Jim Anderson, everyone at Berkely Earth those that put keep C02.earth and Environmental Advanced Sciences on FB upto date and so many other climate scientists who’s work have inspired this piece. Thanks as well to the 16 yr old Gretta Thunburg who gave me the courage to take what was in my head and put it to paper,. I encourage you to dig deep. Listen to talks where scientist are talking to scientists. They are less likely then to use the conservative filters they impose on themselves and you will get to the cutting edge.
*on a personal note, since I post about my children, I don’t accept friend requests from people I haven’t met. That said as of today, I have figured out how to enable the “follow” button on my account. I have been blown away by all the fantastic and heartfelt messages and commitments to change I have received due to this post and look forward to reading them.
Arctic Wildlife’s Last Habitat Will Be Ice Strip
Within a few decades such vistas are unlikely to exist, at least not here, during summer. As the planet heats up, the summer sea ice and all the superbly adapted life it supports—the bears, the seals, the walruses, the whales, the Arctic cod, the crustaceans, the ice algae—may well vanish around Baffin. As we fly over the vast frozen expanse, it almost strains belief to think that we’re witnessing—and with the rest of humanity, helping to cause—its demise. In the 1980s satellite data showed that Arctic sea ice extended on average across nearly three million square miles at the end of summer. Since then more than a million square miles has been lost—an area roughly the size of Alaska, Texas, and California combined.
Climate models suggest that by the 2050s, less than 200,000 square miles of perennial sea ice will remain. The good news, such as it is: What’s left will collect in a compact region, not here but farther north, above Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island. That shrunken redoubt will be the last stand for many of the Arctic’s wild things.
“The animals that depend on the edge of the sea ice for a living will be congregating there in the summer,” says marine ecologist Enric Sala, leader of the National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas project. “It will be like one of those watering holes in Africa where everybody shows up.”
Climate change is rotting away Greenland cultural heritage
Archaeologists are moving as fast as they can, but the past is slipping away
Les réalisateurs du film d’animation ont tout fait pour donner à l’histoire une perpective humaine. En réalité il s’agit d’événments dont l’ampleur et l’impacte dépassent notre capacité de perception.
Les réalisateurs de la vidéo suivante on tenté de dépasser ces limites par une approche métaphorique.
« CHASING ICE » captures largest glacier calving ever filmed
Ca date de mai 2008, au Groenland, mais il semble en effet que le record n’ait pas été battu dans les 10 dernières années...
The largest glacier calving event ever recorded took place on May 28, 2008, while Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski were filming the Ilulissat Glacier, in Western Greenland, for the documentary film Chasing Ice. The calving event lasted 75 minutes and the glacier retreated 1.6 km (1 mile) across a calving face 5 km (3 miles) wide. The total height of the ice was about 915 m (3,000 feet), of which 90-120 m (300-400 feet) was visible above water, while the rest was underwater. As a tidewater glacier slowly slides toward the ocean, large pieces calve (break off) to form icebergs. Most tidewater glaciers calve above the surface resulting in a thunderous crash of ice into the ocean. Some tidewater glaciers calve underwater thus causing the iceberg to surge up to the surface from below. Water displaced during calving often produces huge waves or a local tsunami.
Greenland is losing ice at fastest rate in 350 years
Ice melt across Greenland is accelerating, and the volume of meltwater running into the ocean has reached levels that are probably unprecedented in seven or eight millennia. The findings, drawn from ice cores stretching back almost 350 years, show a sharp spike in melting over the past two decades.
Previous studies have shown record melting on parts of Greenland’s ice, but the latest analysis includes the first estimate of historical runoff across the entire ice sheet. The results, published on 5 December in Nature1, show that the runoff rate over the past two decades was 33% higher than the twentieth-century average, and 50% higher than in the pre-industrial era.
Article original :
Nonlinear rise in Greenland runoff in response to post-industrial Arctic warming
Luke D. Trusel, Sarah B. Das, Matthew B. Osman, Matthew J. Evans, Ben E. Smith, Xavier Fettweis, Joseph R. McConnell, Brice P. Y. Noël & Michiel R. van den Broeke
Nature 564:104–108 (2018)
Rotten fish to help power #Hurtigruten cruise ships after refit | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters
The Nordic region’s most high-profile cruise fleet operator is refitting its ships to make them less polluting, and plans to use a byproduct of rotten fish to help power their new, leaner engines.
Norway’s Hurtigruten, best known for the ships that ferry tourists along the country’s fjords and coastline and up into the Arctic, is investing 7 billion crowns ($826 million) over three years to adapt its 17-strong fleet.
Six of its older vessels will be retrofitted to run on a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG), electric batteries and liquefied bio gas (LBG).
“We are talking about an energy source (LBG) from organic waste, which would otherwise have gone up in the air. This is waste material from dead fish, from agriculture and forestry,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam told Reuters in an interview.
“Our main aim is to improve and cut emissions,” he said.
Hurtigruten, also the world’s biggest expedition cruise operator to destinations including Antarctica, Svalbard and Greenland, is also ordering three new ships that will run on electricity, with a diesel engine only as back-up.
#Fridtjof_Nansen, WWI, and the Beginning of the Modern Refugee Regime
This week–on November 11–marked the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I. In terms of refugee law, the Great War is usually eclipsed by WWII, which gave rise to the Refugee Convention (in 1951). The Convention forms the basis for our international and domestic humanitarian law up until today.
But the First World War was also foundational to our current refugee regime, and so it’s too bad that WWI developments in refugee law get short shrift. Upwards of 10 million people were displaced by the War and the subsequent rise of the Soviet Union. Many would never return home and would permanently resettle in other countries. This mass movement of civilians led to political, cultural, and social changes, and predictably, to a backlash against refugees (as a security, economic, and health threat) that sounds all-too familiar today.
Probably the most prominent figure in post-WWI refugee resettlement was a Norwegian wunderkind named Fridtjof Nansen. Mr. Nansen was born in 1861. He was a record-breaking skater and skier. He studied zoology in university, and went on to become a world famous artic explorer. In 1888, he led the first expedition to cross Greenland, and in 1895, he came within 4 degrees of the North Pole, the furthest north anyone had traveled to date. After his career in the Artic, he turned to science, where he made important contributions to the fields of neurology and oceanography. Mr. Nansen served as a diplomat and advocated for separation of Norway and Sweden (which had been united since 1814). Norway became independent in 1905.
Norway was neutral during the First World War, and during those years, Mr. Nansen was involved in organizing his nation’s defense. In 1917, he was dispatched to Washington, where he negotiated a deal to help alleviate a severe food shortage in his country.
After World War I, Mr. Nansen successfully helped advocate for Norway’s involvement in the League of Nations, and he served as a delegate to that body. He became involved in the repatriation of prisoners of war, and between 1920 and 1922, led the effort to resettle over 400,000 POWs in 30 different countries. In 1921, Mr. Nansen became the League’s High Commissioner for Refugees and helped resettle two million Russians displaced by the revolution. At the same time, he was working to relieve a massive famine in Russia, but had trouble securing international aid (due largely to suspicion of the new Marxist government). He also assisted Armenian refugees after the genocide there, and devised a controversial population exchange between Turkey and Greece, which resolved a Greek refugee crisis, but also resulted in the expulsion (with compensation) of Turks from Greece.
Mr. Nansen created the “Nansen” passports in 1922, a document that allowed stateless people to travel legally across borders. By WWII, 52 nations recognized the passport as a legal travel document. Nansen passports were originally created to help refugees from the Russian civil war, but over 20 years, they were used by more than 450,000 individuals from various countries (including a number of well-known figures, such as Marc Chagall, Aristotle Onassis, G.I. Gurdjiieff, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and Igor Stravinsky). The passports served as a foundation for a clearly-defined legal status for refugees, and some scholars consider the creation of the Nansen passports as the beginning of international refugee law.
In 1922, Mr. Nansen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee cited “his work for the repatriation of the prisoners of war, his work for the Russian refugees, his work to bring succour to the millions of Russians afflicted by famine, and finally his present work for the refugees in Asia Minor and Thrace.”
Mr. Nansen continued his involvement in the League of Nations through the 1920s, and he flirted with Norwegian politics, though he seems to have no major ambitions in that direction. In 1926, Mr. Nansen came up with a legal definition for refugees from Russia and Armenia, and his definition was adopted by several dozen nations. This marked the first time that the term “refugee” was defined in international law, and it helped set the stage for later legal developments in the area of refugee protection.
Fridtjof Nansen died on May 3, 1930. After his death, a fellow delegate from the League of Nations eulogized, “Every good cause had his support. He was a fearless peacemaker, a friend of justice, an advocate always for the weak and suffering.”
Even after his death, Mr. Nansen’s work continued. The League of Nations established the Nansen International Office for Refugees, which helped resettle tens of thousands of refugees during the inter-War years. The Nansen Office was also instrumental in establishing the Refugee Convention of 1933 (now, largely forgotten), the first international, multilateral treaty offering legal protection to refugees and granting them certain civic and economic rights. The 1933 Convention also established the principle of “non-refoulement,” the idea that nations cannot return individuals to countries where they face persecution. To this day, non-refoulement is a key concept of international (and U.S.) refugee law. For all this work, the Nansen Office was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1938.
Fridtjof Nansen’s legacy lives on in many ways. There are geographic features named after him in the Artic, Antarctic, and various places around the globe. In space, there is a crater on the moon named in his honor, as well as an asteroid. The oldest ski club in the United States is named for Mr. Nansen, and there is a species of fish that bears his name (Nansenia). A museum in Armenia documents his scientific and humanitarian achievements. And each year, the United Nations bestows the Nansen Refugee Award on an individual or organization that has assisted refugees, displaced or stateless people. For me, though, Mr. Nansen’s most enduring achievement is his pioneering work to help establish international refugee law, a legal regime which protects us all.
BBC - Future - The remote Arctic town that is melting away
As the Arctic loses ice at dramatic rates, people in Qaanaaq, the northernmost town in Greenland, are finding their homes, livelihoods, customs and very survival at risk.
Ancient Romans never reached Greenland, but the emissions from their silver mining did
Ice cores, used to study ancient climates, also contain the history of the Roman Empire
Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record | World news | The Guardian
The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer.
This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.
One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”. Others said it could force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest.
The Myth of Russia’s Arctic Rule
It’s clearly visible from this bird’s-eye view of the Arctic region.
You can see here that Russia’s vast holdings of Arctic territory do not mitigate its lack of access to the world’s other oceans.
Russian ships cannot get to the Pacific Ocean without passing the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Strait – both of which are off the coast of Alaska and thus securely under U.S. control.
While the U.S. has only two icebreakers, it could shut down this shipping lane at will because it’s easily the world’s pre-eminent naval power.
It’s more of the same for Russia with access to the Atlantic Ocean. To get to the Atlantic from the Arctic, Russian ships have to traverse waters between Iceland and Greenland, or between Iceland and the United Kingdom.
Either way, it’s the same story – they are still susceptible to blockades from anti-Russian forces.
These uncomfortable geopolitical realities make Russia’s position in the Arctic something of a trap. To make matters worse, with the accelerating Arctic ice melt, Russia’s geopolitical strategy in Europe is melting right along with it.
The core of that strategy has been to establish buffer zones between Moscow and the North European Plain. This strategy is based in part on the idea that Russia has never had to worry about a potential threat to its Arctic coastline, as the Arctic Ocean has always been impossible for its enemies to traverse.
But if Arctic ice melts enough to allow trade in the Arctic Ocean year round – as appears inevitable – that also means enemy navies would have much more room to operate.
This explains why Russia has assumed a defensive posture when it comes to the Arctic.
It also explains why Russia has been relatively cooperative in the region diplomatically.
La question est celle d’une route commerciale maritime. Sur l’axe majeur reliant l’Asie orientale à l’Europe (occidentale). De ce point de vue, les deux extrémités posent problème, les débouchés étant :
• le détroit de Danemark dont il suffit de rappeler la bataille qui porte ce nom en 1941,…
• la ligne GIUK et sa matérialisation physique par le SOSUS,
• la mer du Nord comme sortie de la mer de Norvège, bordée de nations de l’OTAN
pour l’autre côté, la mer des Tchouktches et la mer de Béring sont effectivement verrouillées comme indiqué dans l’extrait que tu pointes. Quant au reste de la façade orientale, située hors de la route maritime d’ailleurs,
• la mer d’Okhotsk n’est pas libre de glaces en hiver (pour le moment…)
Enfin, on parle ici de périphérie et, de ce point de vue, la facade « ouverte » de la mer de Béring est une périphérie particulièrement extrême. Petropavlosk-Kamtchatski, base des sous-marins russes est un bout du monde absolu. Tout doit y être acheminé d’une distance de plusieurs milliers de kilomètres.
Voir à ce sujet, les effectifs engagés de part et d’autre dans la (très méconnue) bataille de Pétropavlosk en 1854
(comme d’hab’, plus de détail sur WP[en]).
De même pour les Aléoutiennes, campagne périphérique et manœuvre de diversion pendant la guerre du Pacifique.
Quant à la vente de l’Alaska en 1867, on peut rêver – comme pour la Louisiane en 1803, mais on voit mal comment l’un et l’autre auraient pu résister au rouleau compresseur des jeunes États-Unis déferlant à la conquête de l’ouest. De ce point de vue, Alexandre II, comme Napoléon avant lui, a réussi à tirer un peu d’argent d’un territoire dont l’avenir sous son pavillon initial était plutôt désespéré. Imagine les péripéties d’un hypothétique Alaska russe en 1905, en 1917-1921, et après…
UK, U.S. study Antarctic glacier, hoping to crack sea level risks | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters
Britain and the United States launched a $25 million project on Monday to study the risks of a collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica that is already shrinking and nudging up global sea levels.
The five-year research, involving 100 scientists, would be the two nations’ biggest joint scientific project in Antarctica since the 1940s. Ice is thawing from Greenland to Antarctica and man-made global warming is accelerating the trend.
The scientists would study the Thwaites Glacier, which is roughly the size of Florida or Britain, in West Antarctica, the UK Natural Environment Research Council and U.S. National Science Foundation said in a joint statement.
(image issue de
Study shows Thwaites Glacier’s ice loss may not progress as quickly as thought
Drones are helping to map Greenland’s melting glaciers | WIRED UK
Joseph Cook camps for months on the ice sheets of Greenland. It’s not very comfortable, but it’s the only way to accurately map the impact of climate change. Cook, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Sheffield, studies how microscopic algae are causing glaciers to retreat. The theory: that a dark melting strip along the country’s west coast is being darkened further by a little-known ecosystem of biological growth. “Greenland has about seven metres of sea level locked away in it and it’s a giant reflector of solar radiation,” says Cook, 30. “If we lose it then we amplify climate warming and release a lot of water into the sea.”
Billion-dollar polar engineering ‘needed to slow melting glaciers’
Scientists have outlined plans to build a series of mammoth engineering projects in Greenland and Antarctica to help slow down the disintegration of the planet’s main glaciers. The controversial proposals include underwater walls, artificial islands and huge pumping stations that would channel cold water into the bases of glaciers to stop them from melting and sliding into the sea.
[...] “We think that geoengineering of glaciers could delay much of Greenland and Antarctica’s grounded ice from reaching the sea for centuries, buying time to address global warming,” the scientists write in the current issue of Nature. “Geoengineering of glaciers has received little attention in journals. Most people assume that it is unfeasible and environmentally undesirable. We disagree.”
New Study Finds Sea Level Rise Has Accelerated – gCaptain
Global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades, rather than increasing steadily, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data.
This acceleration, driven mainly by increased melting in Greenland and Antarctica, has the potential to double the total sea level rise projected by 2100 when compared to projections that assume a constant rate of sea level rise, according to lead author Steve Nerem. Nerem is a professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, a fellow at Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), and a member of NASA’s Sea Level Change team.
If the rate of ocean rise continues to change at this pace, sea level will rise 26 inches (65 centimeters) by 2100 — enough to cause significant problems for coastal cities, according to the new assessment by Nerem and colleagues from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; CU Boulder; the University of South Florida in Tampa; and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The team, driven to understand and better predict Earth’s response to a warming world, published their work Feb. 12 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“This is almost certainly a conservative estimate,” Nerem said. “Our extrapolation assumes that sea level continues to change in the future as it has over the last 25 years. Given the large changes we are seeing in the ice sheets today, that’s not likely.”
Greenland Melting from Below
Turns out, Greenland isn’t just melting from above—it’s also melting from below. Eventually, it could raise sea levels by 24 feet. How long until we’re all underwater? NASA’s OMG mission is trying...
NOAA : Arctic Saw 2nd Warmest Year On Record in 2017 – gCaptain
l’Arctique en 3 mots terrifiants : #new_normal_climate in the north…
The warming trend in the Arctic continued in 2017, resulting in the second warmest air temperatures, above average ocean temperatures, loss of sea ice, and a range of human, ocean and ecosystem effects, according to a new NOAA-sponsored report released Tuesday.
Now in its 12th year, the Arctic Report Card is a peer-reviewed report that brings together the work of 85 scientists from 12 nations.
While 2017 saw fewer records shattered than in 2016, the Arctic shows no sign of returning to the reliably frozen region it was decades ago, according to this year’s report card. Arctic temperatures continue to increase at double the rate of the global temperature increase, the report said.
Through the use of historical data, the Arctic Report Card shows that the current observed rate of sea ice decline and warming temperatures are higher than at any other time in the last 1,500 years, and likely longer than that.
Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades
Despite relatively cool summer temperatures, observations in 2017 continue to indicate that the Arctic environmental system has reached a ’new normal’, characterized by long-term losses in the extent and thickness of the sea ice cover, the extent and duration of the winter snow cover and the mass of ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic glaciers, and warming sea surface and permafrost temperatures.
The Arctic: As used in this document, the term “Arctic” means all United States and foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle and all United States territory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim Rivers; all contiguous seas, including the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort, Bering and Chukchi Seas; and the Aleutian chain. For purposes of this document only, this map illustrates the Arctic as defined under the Arctic Research and Policy Act and does not represent or reflect the right of NOAA with respect to the international boundaries and limits depicted therein.
This Should Freak Everyone Out: The Arctic Will Never Be Frozen Again
In an accompanying annual report on the Arctic’s health—titled “Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades”—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees all official U.S. research in the region, coined a term: “#New_Arctic.”
As Greenland Melts, Where’s the Water Going? - The New York Times
Each year, Greenland loses 270 billion tons of ice as the planet warms. New research shows that some of the water may be trapped in the ice sheet, which could change how scientists think about global sea levels.