West Antarctica’s bedrock is rising, providing some protection to melting ice

June 22, 2018 by  
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It seems that most news concerning Antarctica’s ice sheets is bad news, with two of the world’s fastest melting glaciers shrinking away in the continent’s western region. Fortunately, this same region is also home to an unusual geological feature that may provide some relief to the effects of climate change. In a new study published in the journal Science , researchers examined how the Earth’s surface seems to expand when heavy objects, such as glaciers , are no longer present and pushing down on the ground. According to data gathered from GPS sensors, the land beneath the Amundsen Sea Embayment in western Antarctica is rising at a rate of about two inches per year, one of the fastest rising rates ever recorded. As is often the case, the discovery of western Antarctica’s rising bedrock was made somewhat by chance. “[Study co-author] Terry Wilson and colleagues were extremely wise and lucky,” study co-author Valentina Barletta told Earther . “They had the really, really good idea [to place those sensors] with very few indication[s] that there might have been something special.” The researchers concluded that the land beneath the Amundsen Sea Embayment springs back because of a relatively fluid mantle beneath the surface, which is more capable of responding to changes above. Related: Scientists uncover giant canyons under the ice in Antarctica “This study shows this region of Antarctica has a very short memory,” Antarctica researcher Matt King told Earther, likening the local geological phenomenon to memory foam. Understanding the impact that rebounding land can have enables researchers to more accurately assess ice loss, the measurement of which has been incomplete due to a lack of knowledge about rising rock. The study also provides some hope to those who live in coastal areas, which may benefit from the potential slowing of melting ice by its rising higher than the warmer water . Via Earther Image via Depositphotos

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West Antarctica’s bedrock is rising, providing some protection to melting ice

Even NASA isn’t quite sure how to explain these holes in the Arctic Sea’s ice

April 23, 2018 by  
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Can you identify the holes in the sea ice pictured above? If so, let NASA know. They recently posted the image, snapped over the Beaufort Sea, as the April 2018 Puzzler on their “Earth Matters” blog. They aren’t quite sure what caused them, although they ventured a few ideas, including heat, thin ice, and even rogue seals. NASA Operation IceBridge mission scientist John Sonntag captured the baffling image from a P-3 research plane soaring over the eastern Beaufort Sea. Sonntag had never seen holes like this before; writing from the field, he said, “We saw these sorta-circular features only for a few minutes today. I don’t recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere.” Related: The first salty lakes discovered in the Arctic could hold the key to finding alien life Before the agency revealed that the photo was from the Arctic , Internet users offered plenty of guesses as to its location – from fires in Oklahoma to the surface of Mars. User Scott Stensland came close when he guessed the circles were open water holes in ice created by ocean mammals, such as seals . Indeed, that’s similar to one answer NASA has come up with: the holes bear a resemblance to photographs of breathing holes harp seals and ring seals have created. National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Walt Meier told NASA, “The encircling features may be due to waves of water washing out over the snow and ice when the seals surface. Or it could be a sort of drainage feature that results from when the hole is made in the ice.” Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory sea ice scientist Chris Polashenski told NASA he’d glimpsed features like these holes in the past. Seals could offer one answer; another is convection. University of Maryland at Baltimore County glaciologist Chris Shuman, who’s based at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told NASA, “This is in pretty shallow water generally, so there is every chance this is just ‘warm springs’ or seeps of ground water flowing from the mountains inland that make their presence known in this particular area. The other possibility is that warmer water from Beaufort currents or out of the Mackenzie River is finding its way to the surface due to interacting with the bathymetry , just the way some polynyas form.” + NASA Earth Observatory + Curious Circles in Arctic Sea Ice Images via John Sonntag/Operation IceBridge/NASA and NASA/Joe MacGregor

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Even NASA isn’t quite sure how to explain these holes in the Arctic Sea’s ice

Scientists identify new kind of ice that requires extremely hot temperatures to form

February 8, 2018 by  
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Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California have discovered a new form of ice known as that is thought to exist within the core of gas giant planets. Published in the journal Nature , this study documents the first observed instance of the so-called superionic ice originally predicted 30 years ago. The ice maintains a solid lattice structure of oxygen atoms with energetic, liquid-like hydrogen ions moving within. While it could only be created on Earth under very specific lab conditions, scientists believe it would be stable under the extreme temperature and pressure conditions found in planets such as Uranus and Neptune . Unlike traditional ice, superionic ice actually requires extremely hot temperatures, combined with intense pressure, to form. Using a technique known as shock compression, scientists created laboratory conditions that match those found on gas giants and successfully prompted water to become superionic. The researchers noted the ice melts at near 5000 Kelvin (K) under pressure levels two million times that of Earth’s atmosphere. “Our work provides experimental evidence for superionic ice and shows that these predictions were not due to artifacts in the simulations, but actually captured the extraordinary behavior of water at those conditions,”  said lead author and physicist Marius Millot. Related: Scientists observe ‘diamond rain’ similar to that found on icy giant planets While the real-world creation of superionic ice is groundbreaking, so too are the simulations that informed the experiment. “Driven by the increase in computing resources available, I feel we have reached a turning point,” explained co-author and physicist Sebastien Hamel . “We are now at a stage where a large enough number of these simulations can be run to map out large parts of the phase diagram of materials under extreme conditions in sufficient detail to effectively support experimental efforts.” The experiment has major implications for planetary science, painting a picture of gas giant cores composed of a thin layer of fluid surrounded by a thick mantle of superionic ice. The findings are especially poignant as NASA prepares for a potential probe mission to Uranus and/or Neptune. Via Gizmodo Images via  S. Hamel/M. Millot/J.Wickboldt/LLNL/NIF

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Scientists identify new kind of ice that requires extremely hot temperatures to form

Oldest ice core ever dated reveals hidden clues to ancient Earth’s atmosphere

August 21, 2017 by  
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Ice cores hold secrets of what our planet was like millions of years ago, in bubbles preserving greenhouse gases from that time. A Princeton University -led team just revealed the date of ice from the oldest ice core we’ve ever dated, and it’s 2.7 million years old. Breaking the previous record by around 1.7 million years, the ice core could potentially help scientists determine what set off the ice ages . The ice core could help scientists understand more about our planet’s atmosphere millions of years ago. University of California, Berkeley geochemist David Shuster, who wasn’t part of the research, told Science Magazine, “This is the only sample of ancient Earth’s atmosphere that we have access to.” And the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the planet’s atmosphere, according to research on the ice core, may surprise some: they didn’t exceed 300 parts per million. Related: Why scientists are transporting ice from a mountain in Bolivia to Antarctica There are models of our planet’s ancient climate which hinted there would need to be low levels of CO2 to trigger ice ages. But according to Science Magazine, proxies that came from the fossils of animals who dwelt in shallow oceans had hinted at higher CO2 levels. The proxies may need to be re-calibrated if the new ice core dating holds up. Researchers unearthed the ice core from what’s called blue ice in East Antarctica. Science Magazine explained that in blue ice areas, glacial flow has allowed some ancient ice to come up to the surface. As a result, scientists don’t need to drill as deep to obtain old ice core samples in blue ice. The Princeton team hopes to extract still more ice cores from there and geochemist Ed Brook of Oregon State University , who was part of the team, said they could potentially find ice that dates back five million years. Princeton University graduate student Yuzhen Yan presented the research at the Goldschmidt Conference in Paris earlier this month. Scientists from institutions in California and Maine also made contributions. Via Science Magazine Images via Yuzhen Yan, Department of Geosciences

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Oldest ice core ever dated reveals hidden clues to ancient Earth’s atmosphere

Self-taught designer builds a secret studio under a bridge in Valencia

August 21, 2017 by  
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Self-taught designer Fernando Abellanas built a studio bedroom in a very unusual place – the underside of a bridge in Valencia, Spain . This tiny moveable workspace has everything he needs – including shelves, a chair and a desk – bolted into the concrete wall of a bridge. The designer built the workspace entirely himself. He installed a hand crank and rails, along which the metal base can move from one side of the bridge to the other. From this hidden space, he can live and work while enjoying complete privacy. Seen from underneath the bridge , the room looks like a small box with foldable sides. Related: You can build one of these tiny backyard offices in less than a week for under $7000 Abellanas hasn’t revealed the actual location of the “cabin”. “The project is an ephemeral intervention, [it will remain] until someone finds it and decides to steal the materials, or the authorities remove it,” he said. Hidden away from passing cars and trains, the space provides the designer with a sense of peace and brings back childhood memories of hiding under a table. + Lebrel | Future Positive Via Archinect

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Self-taught designer builds a secret studio under a bridge in Valencia

BOOOM! The ICEBAR is back for the season with a ‘smashing’ design

December 18, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of BOOOM! The ICEBAR is back for the season with a ‘smashing’ design Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: BOOOM! , eco design , Green Building , green design , ice , ice bar , ice hotel , icebar , icehotel , sweden ice hotel

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BOOOM! The ICEBAR is back for the season with a ‘smashing’ design

Melting Arctic Ice Opens New Shipping Channel for Petroleum Products

July 15, 2014 by  
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In a move that blatantly disregards the impacts of climate change , shipping companies are taking advantage of melting Arctic ice to cut transportation times for petroleum products. Channel News Asia reports that Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines recently announced plans to create the world’s first shipping route through the Arctic Ocean starting in 2018. The company would be mainly shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia’s Yamal project to markets in Europe and Asia using three specially designed icebreakers for transport. The route is expected to trim 10 days of travel time from the current route through the Suez Canal . Read the rest of Melting Arctic Ice Opens New Shipping Channel for Petroleum Products Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arctic , change , Channel , climate , global , ice , Japan , liquefied , lng , Mitsui , natural gas , oil , russia , shipping , warming , yamal

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C.F. Møller and Brut’s Winning Residential Tower for Antwerp Creates Mini Vertical Communities With Gardens

July 15, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of C.F. Møller and Brut’s Winning Residential Tower for Antwerp Creates Mini Vertical Communities With Gardens Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Antwerp architecture , Antwerp towers , Belgium Architecture , C.F. Møller Architects , C.F. Møller Architects Antwerp , glass facades , highrise architecture , tower design , tower facades , tower rooftop garden , vertical communities

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C.F. Møller and Brut’s Winning Residential Tower for Antwerp Creates Mini Vertical Communities With Gardens

Colorful Ice Fort Makes the Most of Below Freezing Temps in Ontario

January 20, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Colorful Ice Fort Makes the Most of Below Freezing Temps in Ontario Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chris marchand , colorful ice fort , eco-art , fort , green art , ice , ice art , ice blocks , ice fort , ice sculpture , northwestern ontario , Ontario , sculpture , unspeakablefilth , water art , winter activity , winter fort , winter sculpture        

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Colorful Ice Fort Makes the Most of Below Freezing Temps in Ontario

Japan Successfully Taps ‘Flammable Ice’ as an Energy Source for the First Time

March 12, 2013 by  
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Japan is faced with a number of challenges when it comes to domestic energy production – the country is the world’s largest importer of natural gas, and since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown it has greatly increased its purchase of fossil fuels. In order to find a local energy source, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has invested millions of dollars towards exploiting methane hydrate (also known as “flammable ice”) – and today they announced that they’ve successfully extracted it from the seabed for the first time. Methane is known to be an extremely potent greenhouse gas that is 20 times more damaging than CO2. If Japan taps reserves beneath the seabed, it could have catastrophic consequences for the environment. Read the rest of Japan Successfully Taps ‘Flammable Ice’ as an Energy Source for the First Time Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: atsumi peninsula , canada , chikyu , china , Climate Change , CO2 , drilling , flammable ice , fukushima daiichi , global warming , greenhouse gas , ice , Japan , methane , Methane Hydrate , north carolina , norway , ocean , seabed , south carolina

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Japan Successfully Taps ‘Flammable Ice’ as an Energy Source for the First Time

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