Meteorologist warns collapse of two Antarctic glaciers could flood every coastal city on Earth

November 24, 2017 by  
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Two of Antarctica’s glaciers are holding our civilization hostage, meteorologist Eric Holthaus wrote in a piece for Grist . Pine Island and Thwaites are among the continent’s biggest and fastest-melting glaciers , together holding back ice that could unleash 11 feet of sea level rise . If they collapse, every coastal city on our planet could flood. Thwaites and Pine Island sprawl across a plain over 150-miles-long, and inland widen to a reserve of ice two-miles-thick that’s about the size of Texas, according to Holthaus, who says there’s no doubt the ice will melt. The question is not if, but how soon. Should the two glaciers collapse, every shoreline and coastal city could be inundated with water, leaving hundreds of millions of climate refugees homeless. And those events could happen in 20 to 50 years – too fast for humans to adapt. Related: Antarctica’s newest iceberg may destabilize the entire ice shelf Two climatologists, in a study published in Nature last year, said an increase of six feet in ocean levels by 2100 was more likely than three feet – but if carbon emissions continue increasing in a worst case scenario, all 11 feet of ice held back in Antarctica could be freed. But if these glaciers are miles thick, wouldn’t it take an incredibly long time for them to collapse? That may not be the case in our warming world. Holthaus pointed to new evidence saying once we reach a certain temperature threshold, glacier ice shelves extending into the sea – like those of Thwaites and Pine Island – could melt from below and above, quickening their demise. Holthaus noted not every scientist thinks there’s cause for panic. National Snow and Ice Data Center lead scientist Ted Scambos said the two glaciers may not collapse all at once – and rapid collapse would still produce several icebergs that could slow the rate of retreat and act as a temporary ice shelf. But the scientific community is starting to think we need more research into the risk of rapid sea level rise, according to Holthaus. University of Michigan leading ice sheet scientist Jeremy Bassis said, “Every revision to our understanding has said that ice sheets can change faster than we thought. We didn’t predict that Pine Island was going to retreat, we didn’t predict that Larsen B was going to disintegrate. We tend to look at these things after they’ve happened.” Via Grist Images via Wikimedia Commons and NASA

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Meteorologist warns collapse of two Antarctic glaciers could flood every coastal city on Earth

New NASA tool shows which melting glaciers will affect coastal cities

November 17, 2017 by  
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NASA has developed a new tool  that individuals and communities can use to determine the precise impacts that sea level rise will have on individual coastal cities . This newly accessible information will enable scientists and policymakers to have a more complete understanding of the consequences of climate change in specific areas. “This study allows one person to understand which icy areas of the world will contribute most significantly to sea level change (rise or decrease) in their specific city,” said Eric Larour, one of the study’s authors, in an interview with CNN . While most coastal communities around the world understand the imminent risks to their survival from sea level rise , this tool allows them to plan more precisely for the future. Current projections estimate that coastal communities will face a sea level rise of one to four feet, depending on location. Since the impact of melting sea ice will be felt differently in different places, it is important for communities to have as precise and accurate information as possible. NASA’s new tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, incorporates the rotation of the Earth and gravitational variables to more precisely identify how specific bodies of melting ice will impact certain communities. Related: Boston outlines its plans to adapt to rising sea levels To create this tool, researchers conducted a study in which they analyzed data for 293 coastal cities to calculate local sea level rise and the glacial source of this newly liquid water. Glaciers farthest away from a particular city tended to be the most responsible for its sea level rise, due to gravity. “Ice sheets are so heavy, that when they melt, the gravity field is modified, and the ocean is less attracted to the ice mass,” said Larour in an interview with CNN . “This means that locally, close to the ice change itself, sea level will decrease.” Larour hopes that this new tool will empower local communities to make informed decisions as they prepare for unfolding impacts of climate change . + NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Via CNN Images via NASA and Depositphotos

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Scientists discover Antarctica is covered in rivers

April 20, 2017 by  
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For decades, scientists have known that summertime brings liquid meltwater to Antarctica’s ice sheets. But until now, they’ve had no idea just how extensive the continent’s network of rivers, streams, ponds, and waterfalls really is. A new analysis by scientists at  Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has found that warmer months cause far more extensive melting than previously thought. That could be a problem as global temperatures continue to rise. Surface water can damage the ice shelves , weakening them and causing them to collapse into the ocean. Some of the channels identified in this survey allow meltwater to run harmlessly off into the sea, but in other areas, standing water can be a huge problem. In 2002, more than 2,000 lakes on the Larsen B ice shelf drained through the ice into the ocean below, causing the entire area to rapidly disintegrate. Related: Scientists warn rapidly-melting glacier in West Antarctica could cause serious global havoc The presence of water on the frozen continent does not yet appear to be the cause of widespread problems—but there’s also the possibility that warmer temperatures are causing sub-surface ice melt. Unfortunately, that phenomenon has been researched in far less detail, so it’s unclear exactly what effect it will have on the ice and rising sea levels in the future. Via Phys.org Images via NASA and Wikimedia Commons

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Scientists discover Antarctica is covered in rivers

NASA snaps worrying images of new crack in large Greenland glacier

April 17, 2017 by  
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One of Greenland’s biggest glaciers could be in trouble. A Netherlands university professor pointed out a new chasm in the Petermann Glacier, as seen in satellite images . NASA’s Operation IceBridge recently went over to check it out and captured photographs that don’t look too good. Scientists say the crack is in an unusual place, and aren’t sure what caused it. Delft University of Technology professor Stef Lhermitte provided coordinates for Operation IceBridge, which flew over the rift to snap pictures. The significant crack is close to the center of Petermann Glacier’s floating ice shelf, which is a strange place for it to be according to scientists. The new chasm is not too far away from another longer and wider rift snaking towards the center of the ice shelf from the eastern side wall, and if the two intersect, a chunk could break off. Related: Iceberg Twice the Size of Manhattan Breaks Off Greenland Glacier There may be some hope – a feature NASA called a medial flowline could “exert a stagnating effect on the propagation of the new rift toward the older one.” Petermann Glacier has seen ice islands break off in the past, in 2010 and 2012. The 2010 chunk was over four times the size of Manhattan, and according to Massachusetts representative Edward J. Markey was the “largest piece of Arctic ice to break free in nearly half a century.” Since those two events the glacier has grown back a bit, but should another ice island break off, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland’s Jason Box told The Washington Post it could be over two times as big as Manhattan, or 50 to 70 square miles big. Lhermitte, after looking at NASA’s recent images, told The Washington Post, “From these images alone, it is difficult to already say anything about what exactly caused the crack on this unusual spot.” Via The Washington Post and Mashable Images via NASA/DMS/Gary Hoffmann and NASA/Kelly Brunt

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NASA snaps worrying images of new crack in large Greenland glacier

Scientists warn rapidly-melting glacier in West Antarctica could cause serious global havoc

October 26, 2016 by  
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As climate change fuels the melting of Antarctic glaciers , scientists have expressed grave concern. The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and US National Science Foundation (NSF) will spend up to $25 million to research the colossal Thwaites Glacier, part of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which could dramatically accelerate sea level rise around the world if it melts. If the whole ice sheet goes, scientists warn global sea levels could rise by as much as nine feet.

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Scientists warn rapidly-melting glacier in West Antarctica could cause serious global havoc

This pink snow may be pretty, but it’s terrible news for the environment

June 27, 2016 by  
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Pink snow might sound outlandish, but it can actually be found around the world. While it may be pretty, it turns out it really isn’t a good look: the color is caused by blooming algae , which cause the snow to melt quicker. As the climate changes, these algae thrive – but their presence has ominous implications for glaciers . In a study published this week in Nature Communications , scientists from the UK and Germany scrutinized the algae and an effect called “bio-albedo.” White surfaces, like glaciers and snow, reflect sunlight, and that’s called albedo. When those glaciers and snow melt, they reveal darker surfaces beneath, like mountains or oceans, and those surfaces have a lower albedo, or absorb greater amounts of sunlight. That effect is important because red algae actually gives snow a lower albedo and makes it melt faster. Related: Arctic temperatures are literally off the charts Lead author Stefanie Lutz told Gizmodo, “The algae need liquid water in order to bloom . Therefore the melting of snow and ice surfaces controls the abundance of the algae. The more melting, the more algae. With temperatures rising globally, the snow algae phenomenon will likely also increase leading to an even higher bio-albedo effect.” Lutz’s study reveals ” red pigmented snow algal blooms ” can decrease snow albedo by 13 percent during a melt season. The phenomenon takes place all around the world, too, from the Arctic to Antarctica. Greenland, the European Alps, and Iceland are a few other places where people have noted the algae. The algae is especially prevalent in the Arctic during the summer, when Lutz says by her estimation at least 50 percent of snow on a glacier displays the blooms. Lutz and her colleagues recommended the algae be taken into account in future climate models, because warmer temperatures will likely mean more algae, and therefore even more melting. Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons and Dick Culbert on Flickr

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This pink snow may be pretty, but it’s terrible news for the environment

Pop-up shipping container farm puts a full acre of lettuce in your backyard

June 26, 2016 by  
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What if you’d love to start a farm but you live in the middle of a city with no access to arable land? A new rentable product called the CropBox packs a fully-installed hydroponic greenhouse full of delicious plants inside a 320 square foot shipping container that easily fits in a backyard. Thanks to the efficiency of hydroponics and the tight CropBox setup, with stacked rows of hydroponic plants, a full acre of lettuce (2200 sf) can fit inside this 320 sf shipping container footprint. This new shipping container based farming system was designed to make small-scale farming competitive in an industrial farm economy. Produced by Williamson Greenhouses, the container enables the entire growing system to be mobile, making cutting edge precision farming affordable for small farmers. The entire system is offered through an affordable leasing arrangement, lowering the traditionally very high investment requirements for new farms. Instead of investing up to $50,000 for a complete greenhouse, beginning farmers and small scale farmers can pay a much more affordable monthly lease to get a complete CropBox operation. This in turn dramatically lowers the high initial capital investment and barriers to begin farming. As the farm prospers and the demand for their product increases, the farmer can promptly scale their operation with more CropBoxes to meet demand quickly. This multi-layered growing system provides up to 3,000 plants in each container. Within a 320 square foot space, the CropBox grows the equivalent of an acre of field grown crops (or 2,200 square feet of greenhouse space). Five (5) of these containers can be stacked vertically to maximize production, enabling an entire farm to be placed at the point of distribution in urban areas, rather than hours away from the customer. RELATED: Freight Farms are super efficient hydroponic farms built inside shipping containers With a completely enclosed growing environment, the added electricity costs are balanced with lower inventory losses due to protection from weather changes, pest infestations or high heating prices. With no water used for cooling and precise hydroponic growing systems, the water usage is 90% lower than alternatives for field grown agriculture, make it a perfect option for arid climates. The CropBox is a complete turn-key agricultural system equipped with the choice of energy efficient, high output fluorescent lighting or LED lighting. The system includes a high-tech monitoring system with over 20 controllers and sensors that continuously measure the water, air quality and temperatures. With this monitoring system, the entire CropBox can be controlled from a smartphone. “We really wanted to focus on making a system that is as fool-proof as possible to help new growers as well as established farmers who may not be familiar with hydroponics”, said Tripp Williamson, CEO of Williamson Greenhouses. The included monitoring software allows the farmer to keep complete growing records and create graphs for constant refinement of their crop’s growth. The CropBox is available for the purchase price of $49,347 or a monthly lease of $999 per month. + Williamson Greenhouses The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Pop-up shipping container farm puts a full acre of lettuce in your backyard

Scientists unearth potential evidence of climate change 2,400 feet beneath Antarctic ice sheet

January 20, 2015 by  
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A research team on the coast of West Antarctica has uncovered evidence that could indicate the effects of climate change deep beneath one of most isolated parts of the ocean. Earlier this month, a team of 40 scientists, ice drillers, and technicians celebrated the accomplishment of breaking through a 2,400 foot-thick ice sheet with a video probe that revealed pebbles on the sea floor, which normally wouldn’t be found at that depth. Read the rest of Scientists unearth potential evidence of climate change 2,400 feet beneath Antarctic ice sheet Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: antarctica , Climate Change , drilling , glaciers , global warming , ice , ocean , ocean floor , pebbles , polar , prove , research , scientists

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Scientists unearth potential evidence of climate change 2,400 feet beneath Antarctic ice sheet

The Glaciers of Glacier National Park May All Disappear by 2030

November 27, 2014 by  
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Glacier National Park , which was dedicated in 1910 , occupies a dramatically beautiful span of the Rocky Mountains at the Montana-Canadian border, which has been covered in ice since time immemorial. 150 thick glaciers were recorded when the park was dedicated, but scientists are warning that they’re all likely to disappear by 2030. Right now there are only 26 ice sheets left, so the park as already lost 124 glaciers, and they’re disappearing quickly. Read the rest of The Glaciers of Glacier National Park May All Disappear by 2030 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , Clmate change , galcer national park , glacial retreat , glacier , glacier national park , glaciers , glaciers melting , global warming , ice field , ice fields , melting glaciers , melting ice , NOROCK , retreating glaciers , Rocky Mountains , usgs

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The Glaciers of Glacier National Park May All Disappear by 2030

DIY: 6 Delicious Herbal Teas You Can Make This Winter

November 27, 2014 by  
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As the cold weather settles in, there is nothing like a hot cup of tea to take winter’s edge off. Rather than raiding your grocery store for pre-packaged flavors, why not try your hand at these easy DIY herbal tea recipes? Homemade tea is easy, fun, and affordable, and also makes for a great gift for your loved ones. Tuck into a steamy cup and enjoy the benefits of these warm herbal infusions. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of DIY: 6 Delicious Herbal Teas You Can Make This Winter Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: diy gifts , DIY tea , DIY tea blends , eco design , ginger tea , Ginger Turmeric Tea , green design , herbal tea , herbal teas , herbs , lavender , Lavender tea , lemon , Lemon Tea , mint , mint tea , Nettle Cinnamon Herbal Tea , Rose and Black Tea , rose tea , stomach soother , stomach soother tea , sustainable design , tea , tea blends , teas , turmeric , turmeric tea

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