Antarctica’s newest iceberg may destabilize the entire ice shelf

August 3, 2017 by  
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For eighteen months, scientists and concerned citizens waited for a giant iceberg to break off the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica. On July 12, the highly-anticipated event finally occurred . Because the iceberg, named A68, was predominantly submerged in the water before it detached, the event did not dramatically raise sea levels — phenomena which would propel natural disasters. While this is fortunate, it turns out the iceberg saga isn’t over: cracks are spreading towards a location that is paramount to the stability of the remaining ice shelf . For months, satellites have been capturing footage of the region to track the effects of climate change . After A68 broke off the shelf, satellites continued to track its movements. According to new data published by the University of Leeds, the structure has drifted approximately 3.1 miles (5km) away from its initial location. When the event finally took place, Larsen C lost about 10 perfect of its area; at least 11 smaller icebergs — some up to 8 miles (12 km) long — were also formed. NewAtlas reports that as the network of cracks continues to sweep across Larsen C, the number of icebergs will keep increasing. Related: Dubai firm wants to tow icebergs from Antarctica for fresh water Said Anna Hogg, a researcher at the University of Leeds: “The satellite images reveal a lot of continuing action on Larsen C Ice Shelf. We can see that the remaining cracks continue to grow towards a feature called Bawden Ice Rise, which provides important structural support for the remaining ice shelf. If an ice shelf loses contact with the ice rise, either through sustained thinning or a large iceberg calving event, it can prompt a significant acceleration in ice speed, and possibly further destabilization. It looks like the Larsen C story might not be over yet.” As Inhabitat previously reported, A68 is not a direct result of climate change . In fact, the process happens quite naturally during the life cycle of ice shelves. However, it is possible that it is breaking away progressed faster than normal due to changing environmental conditions . “Although floating ice shelves have only a modest impact on of sea-level rise, ice from Antarctica’s interior can discharge into the ocean when they collapse,” said Hilmar Gudmundsson, a researcher from the British Antarctic Survey. “Consequently we will see increase in the ice-sheet contribution to global sea-level rise. With this large calving event, and the availability of satellite technology, we have a fantastic opportunity to watch this natural experiment unfolding before our eyes. We can expect to learn a lot about how ice shelves break up and how the loss of a section of an ice shelf affects the flow of the remaining parts.” The findings were published in the journal Nature Climate Change . + University of Leeds Via NewAtlas Images via Pixabay

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Antarctica’s newest iceberg may destabilize the entire ice shelf

Top scientist quits EPA, torches Trump administration’s environmental neglect

August 3, 2017 by  
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A top senior official at the EPA resigned this week with a scathing letter  aimed at Trump and his anti-environmental agenda. Elizabeth Southerland has been with the EPA for over 30 years, and in that time she has battled cancer-causing water contaminants, toxic pollution and a host of other threats to our natural resources. But working under climate deniers Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt is a bridge too far. “Today the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth. The truth is there is NO war on coal, there is NO economic crisis caused by environmental protection, and climate change IS caused by man’s activities,” she said in her letter. Southerland isn’t the first scientist to quit to protest the administration’s policies, which has also seen key scientists demoted in an attempt to drive them out of their roles. Southerland is particularly critical of Trump’s oversimplified policy of cutting two regulations for every new one. “Should EPA repeal two existing rules protecting infants from neurotoxins in order to promulgate a new rule protecting adults from a newly discovered liver toxin?” Related: Trump’s EPA moves to kill Obama’s Clean Water Rule Southerland was the director in the Office of Science and Technology. Already eligible for retirement, she cites the need to focus on family as a key decision to quit, in addition to her outrage at the hostile policies pushed by Trump. “[T]he President’s FY18 budget proposes cuts to state and tribal funding as draconian as the cuts to EPA , while at the same time reassigning a number of EPA responsibilities to the states and tribes,” she says in her letter. She also comments on a speech given by the Administrator in which he admonished the EPA for running roughshod over state’s rights. “In fact, EPA has always followed a cooperative federalism approach since most environmental programs are delegated to states and tribes who carry out the majority of monitoring, permitting, inspections, and enforcement actions.” Via Huffington Post Images via Flickr  and Wikimedia

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Top scientist quits EPA, torches Trump administration’s environmental neglect

Fractured Antarctic ice sheet will create the largest iceberg ever recorded

June 1, 2017 by  
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Due to global warming and rising temperatures, glaciers are slowly melting – and, in some cases, breaking apart. A massive 8-mile crack is steadily growing along Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf – and when it splits, the resulting iceberg will be around 1,930 square miles (5,000 square kilometers) in size. That’s as big as Delaware – making it quite possibly the largest iceberg ever recorded. CNN reports that because the ice shelf’s direction has changed, it is breaking away from the rift at a fast pace. Adrian Luckman, lead researcher in UK-based research team Project MIDAS, said: “The rift tip appears to have turned significantly towards the ice front, indicating that the time of calving (breaking away) is probably very close. There appears to be very little to prevent the iceberg from breaking away completely.” When the gargantuan formation does fully break away from the rift, “the Larsen C Ice Shelf will lose more than 10% of its area,” wrote Luckman. The resulting event “will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula.” Researchers are concerned the rift’s change of direction and the sheer size of the iceberg will result in problems. For instance, Poul Christoffersen of the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge is concerned that the whole ice shelf will disintegrate as a result of the event. “The ice shelf can and probably will undergo a rapid collapse,” he told the press. “And this isn’t a slow process — it can happen in a day or two.” Related: Dubai firm wants to tow icebergs from Antarctica for fresh water Researchers are also concerned that climate change is resulting in larger iceberg formations and thinner ice shelves around Antarctica. Said Christofferson, “The ice shelves that are collapsing are getting bigger and bigger.” When glaciers melt and break apart, sea levels rise – which results in increased flooding and natural disasters . Christofferson added, “We need to make sure that we curtail our emissions of carbon dioxide so that we don’t destabilize the big ice shelves. If we go on with business as usual, we are playing with potential changes in sea levels that will affect millions and millions of people.” Via CNN Images via Wikimedia Commons , Wikipedia

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Fractured Antarctic ice sheet will create the largest iceberg ever recorded

How coastal cities can learn resiliency tactics from nature

April 8, 2016 by  
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Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced. Flooding, storm surge, and sea level rise are serious threats to natural resources, infrastructure, and human communities in coastal areas. In effort to adapt to these changing conditions, planners and policymakers should consider nature’s strategies when developing coastal resiliency plans to protect communities from increasing coastal erosion and flooding due to rising sea levels.

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Life-giving nutrient becomes a deadly pollutant

April 8, 2016 by  
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In the process of producing food, we’ve inadvertently filled our planet with toxic forms of nitrogen.

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Life-giving nutrient becomes a deadly pollutant

Sea levels are now rising faster than any time in the last 2,800 years

February 23, 2016 by  
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Coastal towns may become underwater memories in the next few hundred years, scientists are saying after a new report emphasized the correlation between manmade greenhouse gas emissions and rising sea levels . Confirming what we all have known for a long time, the report shows that yes, there is a link and yes, we have to move quickly to halt what is coming. Read the rest of Sea levels are now rising faster than any time in the last 2,800 years

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Sea levels are now rising faster than any time in the last 2,800 years

Scientists discover that the melting glaciers are slowing down the Earth’s rotation

January 5, 2016 by  
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Climate change is becoming more and more difficult to ignore and rising sea levels are just one of the visible consequences of these effects. NASA has predicted a one meter rise worldwide in the next few centuries just by gathering sensitive satellite data, yet other scientists are also considering how studying the Earth’s core and the rotational effects of changing sea levels may also serve as predictors. These data can help coastal areas prepare for the future. Read the rest of Scientists discover that the melting glaciers are slowing down the Earth’s rotation

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Scientists discover that the melting glaciers are slowing down the Earth’s rotation

NASA predicts a dangerous sudden rise in sea levels

August 27, 2015 by  
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Sea levels are rising at a speed that is both shocking and devastating. NASA satellite data reveals we could be looking at a three-foot (one meter) rise in the next 100-200 years, putting coastal regions and the existence of vulnerable island nations in serious jeopardy. 150 million people currently live within that one meter range around the globe, which is disappearing quickly as polar ice sheets melt away. Read the rest of NASA predicts a dangerous sudden rise in sea levels

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NASA predicts a dangerous sudden rise in sea levels

Rising Sea Levels Could Submerge 1,700 U.S. Cities by 2100

August 1, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock A study released by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany reveals that a temperature increase of only one degree Celsius could cause sea levels to rise as much as two meters. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , the study predicts that these dramatic changes will submerge areas of over 1,700 U.S. cities, including New York, Boston and Miami, by 2100. Read the rest of Rising Sea Levels Could Submerge 1,700 U.S. Cities by 2100 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions , flooded NYC , global warming , global warming study , greenhouse emissions , New York floods , Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , sea level rising , Sea Levels , U.S. flooding        

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Rising Sea Levels Could Submerge 1,700 U.S. Cities by 2100

Man Attempts 1,200 Mile Journey in the Solar-Powered ELF Bike/Car

August 1, 2013 by  
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Organic Transit’s ELF has grown from being a Kickstarter project to a highly coveted personal transit vehicle , and now a 65-year-old man from Cambridge is attempting to ride the 1,200 miles from Durham, North Carolina, where the half bicycle/half car is manufactured, back to his home in Massachusetts. Equipped with a small electric motor, solar panels and a protective shell, the ELF is in most other ways a futuristic bicycle that can travel 1,800 miles on one gallon of fuel! Read the rest of Man Attempts 1,200 Mile Journey in the Solar-Powered ELF Bike/Car Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco car , eco-mobile , ELF , emissions free vehicles , futuristic bicycle car , green transportation , green vehicle from North Carolina , half bike half car , man drives ELF from NC to MA , Mike Stewart , Organic Transit , solar-powered vehicles        

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