Researchers have discovered a feature larger than the Grand Canyon beneath the ice of Antarctica. They describe it as: “a massive subglacial valley up to 3 kilometres deep, more than 300 kilometres long and up to 25 kilometres across. In places, the floor of this valley is more than 2000 metres below sea level.” Quoted from the Newcastle University press release.
“Researchers have discovered a new aquifer in the Greenland Ice Sheet that holds liquid water all year long in the otherwise perpetually frozen winter landscape. [...] The reservoir is known as a “perennial firn aquifer” because water persists within the firn – layers of snow and ice that don’t melt for at least one season.” Quoted from The University of Utah press release.
“For the first time, all of Iceland’s glaciers are shown on a single map. The map is the first to incorporate historical data and coverage from aerial photographs and remote sensing satellites, such as Landsat and SPOT, to show the change in the areal extent of glaciers during the past century. [...] Knowing which volcanic calderas lie beneath glaciers and their history of volcanic activity is important for disaster preparation and mitigation.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
“ESA’s CryoSat satellite has found a vast crater in Antarctica’s icy surface. Scientists believe the crater was left behind when a lake lying under about 3 km of ice suddenly drained.” Quoted from the ESA press release.
“What was surprising was the high biomass and diversity we found. This is the first time microbes have been identified living in the sediments of a subglacial Antarctic lake and indicates that life can exist and potentially thrive in environments we would consider too extreme.” Quoted from the British Antarctic Survey press release.
“Hidden for all of human history, a 460 mile long canyon has been discovered below Greenland’s ice sheet. Using radar data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge and other airborne campaigns, scientists led by a team from the University of Bristol found the canyon runs from near the center of the island northward to the fjord of the Petermann Glacier.” Quoted from the NASA video release.
“Scientists’ understanding of how Greenland Ice Sheet melt water travels in passages along the bedrock below fails to account for some key processes. This, in turn may be affecting their assessment of how ice sheets respond to climate change.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.
“Supraglacial lakes — bodies of water that collect on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet — lubricate the bottom of the ice when they drain, causing it to flow faster.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.
“Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have been working with a host of international collaborators to present the most detailed map yet of Antarctica’s landmass. [...] The map allows scientists to analyse, in much greater detail, the bed below the Antarctic ice sheet.” Quoted from the British Antarctic Survey press release.
“Last July, something unprecedented in the 34-year satellite record happened: 98 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s surface melted, compared to roughly 50 percent during an average summer.” Quoted from the CIRES press release.
“While 99 percent of Earth’s land ice is locked up in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the remaining ice in the world’s glaciers contributed just as much to sea rise as the two ice sheets combined from 2003 to 2009.” Quoted from the University of Colorado Boulder press release.
The American Museum of Natural History has an interesting video about the Quelccaya ice cap in the Peruvian Andes, where researchers are collecting cores to document past climate change recorded in the ice.
An article in Scientific American reports that time lapse cameras, placed by a U.S. geologist from the University of Colorado at Boulder to record glacial melting in the Himalayas, were confiscated with the accusation that they were being used to “spy on China”. See some of the videos here.
“The Lyell Glacier, the largest glacier in Yosemite National Park, has stagnated, or ceased its downhill movement, according to a recent study conducted by scientists from the National Park Service and the University of Colorado. The adjacent Maclure Glacier is still moving at its historical rate, about one inch per day.” Quoted from the Yosemite National Park press release.
“Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.” Quoted from the Executive Summary of the Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report
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