Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:51 PM
AAO (3,300 posts)
West Antarctica Warming Three Times Faster Than Global Average
West Antarctica Warming Three Times Faster Than Global Average, Threatening To Destabilize This Unstable Ice Sheet.
Researchers have determined that the central region of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is experiencing twice as much warming as previously thought. Their analysis focuses on the temperature record from Byrd Station (indicated by a star), which provides the only long-term temperature observations in the region. Other permanent research stations with long-term temperature records (indicated by black circles) are scattered around the continent. On this map, the color intensity indicates the extent of warming around Antarctica. (Image by Julien Nicolas, courtesy of Ohio State University.)
The temperature record from Byrd Station, a scientific outpost in the center of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), demonstrates a marked increase of 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit (2.4 degrees Celsius) in average annual temperature since 1958. The rate of increase is three times faster than the average temperature rise around the globe for the same period.
The study was published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience . It was conducted by scientists at Ohio State University (OSU), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with funding coming from the National Science Foundation, which is NCAR’s sponsor.
“Our results indicate that temperature increases during the past half century have been almost twice what we previously thought, placing West Antarctica among the fastest warming regions on Earth,” says NCAR scientist Andrew Monaghan, a co-author. “A growing body of research shows that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is changing at an alarming rate, with pressure coming from both a warming ocean and a warming atmosphere.”
5 replies, 647 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
West Antarctica Warming Three Times Faster Than Global Average (Original post)
Response to AAO (Original post)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:21 PM
FirstLight (8,950 posts)
2. well...here we go...
so we just sit by and watch. If you think weather patterns lately have been messed up, you ain't seen nuthin yet.
watch what happens when that chunk breaks off...not only will it affect the salination and ocean temp...but i'd venture a guess it will effect some balance factor for tectonics as well, that ice is heavy, and what is under it hasn't moved in a few million years, right?
Response to AAO (Reply #3)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:06 PM
FirstLight (8,950 posts)
4. sorry you think it's funny
I am not just being "woo-woo" and talking out my ass, thank you.
Scientists at NASA and United States Geological Survey (USGS) are using satellite and global positioning system receivers, as well as computer models, to study movements of Earth’s plates and shrinking glaciers in southern Alaska. Glaciers are very sensitive to climate chaos. Higher temperatures and changes in precipitation over the last century appear to be contributing to an increase in glacier melting. Southern Alaska is also prone to earthquakes because a tectonic plate under the Pacific Ocean is pushing into its coast, building up significant pressure at critical points.
Ice is heavy and exerts enormous pressure on whatever lies beneath it. Under the ice’s weight, the Earth's crust bends and as the ice melts the crust bounces up again. Imagine a floating cork, topped with a piece of lead. Will it not pop upwards when the lead is taken off? Similarly, a shrinking ice cap reduces the pressure on the earth's mantle, causing it to melt and creating magma. Also, this frees tectonic plates up to move against each other and cause the friction needed to initiate earthquakes. This tallies with mathematical models that suggest such processes may potentially lead to more earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.