Search Results for Tag: Antarctic
You may remember a report a couple of years ago about how satellite images revealed the existence of a hitherto unknown large colony of penguins in an area of Antarctica. AT that time, researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the UK National Environment Research Council attracted a fair bit attention with the “penguins from space” story. Now three members of a team from Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station have become the first humans to visit and photograph the colony of around 9,000 emperor penguins on Antarctica’s Princess Ragnhild Coast.
DateJanuary 10, 2013 | 12:00 pm
”Tis the Season… to drill ice cores!”
As the year draws towards an end, winter officially starts and the longest night is before us here in the northern hemisphere, I have been entranced by photos from the Antarctic, full of light and white and 90 shades of blue. With a holiday break ahead of me, let me direct you to some more of these spectactular pictures and the stories of the hard work behind them, with the scientists from the International Polar Foundation out there examining the ice sheet. As I’ve been writing here on the Ice Blog recently, the Antarctic is also being affected by climate change, but to a different extent in different places. We only know this thanks to the work of scientists like Reinhard Drews and others who make their way down there and carry out the hard work.
A happy new year to you scientists out there in the field – and all ice blog followers. More from me on January 9th!! Comments welcome in the meantime.
DateDecember 21, 2012 | 3:07 pm
Regular ice blog followers may remember a recent post including an Interview with Andrew Shepherd from Leeds University, UK, about ice melt in the Antarctic. One of the factors he explained was that increasing precipitation as a result of warming was falling on the East Antarctic ice sheet as snow and so increasing its mass. Although that particular study showed that the Antarctic has indeed been losing ice over the past 20 years, (contrary to popular opinion), increasing snow was balancing this loss to some extent. Now a study published in Nature shows that a lot of the ice increase from this snow is being lost again, because the extra snow puts pressure on the ice, making it flow faster towards the coast.
DateDecember 14, 2012 | 9:41 am
How can the Antarctic be melting when part of the ice sheet is growing?
One of my colleagues keeps telling me global warming is not really causing ice melt, because the East Antarctic ice sheet is actually growing. Yes, it is indeed, according to the latest comprehensive study taking account of all the available satellite data. But this is in fact consistent with what scientists expect from climate warming. Warming oceans are leading to more precipitation, which falls on the high East Antarctic ice sheet as snow. The situation in West Antarctica and on the Antarctic peninsula are very different. If you find all this interesting, you might like to listen to this Interview with Andrew Shepherd, coordinator of the latest study, supported by NASA and ESA, the European space agency. He explains what the satellites tell us about the state of the polar ice caps and their increasing contribution to global sea level rise.
In case you missed them, you can still catch up on the satellite study and the latest models on sea level rise. At the end of the interview I asked Prof. Shepherd what difference the data could mean to the next IPCC models on sea level rise. He made the point that the real uncertainty in these models is about what emissions trajectory the world’s countries will opt for. Which brings us back to Doha. I’m following the talks with interest, but not much in the way of expectations. The German environment minister told my colleague Andrea Rönsberg in an interview he wasn’t too optimistic about whether the talks would manage to reduce sea level by even a tiny degree. He’s not alone there.
DateDecember 7, 2012 | 2:03 pm
Not a day seems to go by without another new revelation about the state of the polar ice, which we once though was such a normal, permanent feature of our planet. Now an international team of satellite experts has produced what they say is the most accurate assessment of ice losses from Greenland AND Antarctica to date and the result is devastating.
DateNovember 30, 2012 | 11:30 am