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Benchmark Antarctic Glacier Shows "Tremendous Ablation" In 2007 - Mass Loss Accelerating Rapidly

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:55 AM
Original message
Benchmark Antarctic Glacier Shows "Tremendous Ablation" In 2007 - Mass Loss Accelerating Rapidly
EDIT

For more than 20 years, Pedro Skvarca has studied the Devil's Bay glacier on Vega Island off the Antarctic Peninsula, a part of Antarctica that is warming five times faster than the average in the rest of the world. The whole of Antarctica holds enough ice and snow to raise world sea levels by 187 feet if it all melted over thousands of years, according to U.N. data.

Skvarca said the Devil's Bay glacier has thinned by 3.3 feet (1 meter) per year on average since his research began. But its deterioration has been unusually marked in the past year. "We've observed a tremendous ablation (during the past year), which is really unusual," Skvarca, head of the Argentine Antarctic Institute's Glaciology Division, told Reuters in an interview at Argentina's main center for studying Antarctica, the Marambio base.

Ablation is the melting and falling away of ice in the zone at the foot of a glacier. "(Last year) I put a box with a thermometer in it next to a marker that was level with the top of the ice. I found it half a meter in the air hanging from a wire," he said last week.

EDIT

Skvarca said the glacier at Devil's Bay was the only Antarctic glacier to have its mass balance tracked consistently in recent years. Mass balance is the difference between what is added to a glacier from snow or ice accumulation in the winter and what is melted or falls away in the summer. "This is important because if you add up the mass balance of all the world's glaciers, we have very clear indications that we're in a period of atmospheric warming and receding glaciers," he said as he prepared to take a military flight home at the end of his annual studies during the Southern Hemisphere's summer.

EDIT

http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSN1462532...
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Let me guess:
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. You are correct!!
In addition to being (as always) faster than expected in your response.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Wow, what do I win?
:D
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. You're eligible to win beachfront property on the NC Outer Banks!
How about THAT?!?

:evilgrin:
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. YAY!
I'm so excited! :bounce:
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
4. Sea Levels Will Rise
not much our country is doing to prepare for it. Now would be a really good time.
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier receded 200 feet in some areas in the past year
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 04:57 PM by Divernan
In prior years it was about 10 feet a year - then for the last decade it's been about 20 feet a year. but last year ---- 200 feet! I'm glad I got to Alaska last fall to see it - 10 years from now it will not be anywhere near as glorious.
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intaglio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. This next comment is in no way serious
I am fully aware of the devastation sea level rise will caise but...

Does this mean an end to the problems that Florida causes the Democratic Party???
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. It would be deep denial to hang onto any property along the coasts
I had always planned to retire to some ocean front community, but starting back in 1990, I sadly realized that the probablility of rising ocean levels made this unfeasible. That was compounded in the past ten years by the changing pattern and increasing intensity of flooding/rain events. I saw a emergency disaster presentation by the head of Florida's emergency management agency back in the 90's. He had clear overlays for the state showing the pattern of hurricanes, and emphasizing how low the entire state's elevation was, and how packed with population the areas within 3 miles of the coast were (evacuation impossible).

It's damned hard to unload property there now, but if you have retired family members there, it would be foolish not to encourage them to get out of the state now. The older and frailer they get, the worse they'll have it just from the hurricanes, let alone rising ocean levels.
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
9. HOLY Cow!
That's 66 feet! Oy vey!
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intaglio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. You want property that will increase in value over the next 30yrs
Buy above the 300' (90m) contour - or learn to sail
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newfie11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Say
We might have ocean front property here in Nebraska! And to think my two sisters moved to Florida for that.
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