Polar & Glacial Ice Melt
 

ICE: ARCTIC & ANTARCTIC WARMING

  • Atmospheric methane in the Arctic has spiked sharply upward, increasing 33% in just 5 years. 35(Paul Palmer, a scientist at Edinburgh University, 2010) Melting permafrost in Siberia is releasing five times the amount of methane than was previously thought.36 (Dr. Katie Walter, 2006)
  • The East Siberian Arctic Shelf’s shallow undersea permafrost is also showing instability and releasing significant amounts of methane.37 (Professor Igor Semiletov, head of the International Siberian Shelf Study (ISSS), University of Alaska at Fairbanks, USA, 2010)
  • The Arctic tundra is already emitting significantly more methane and nitrous oxide than previously estimated. 38(Prof. Greg Henry, University of British Columbia)
  • Some scientists are calling the thawing Arctic a “ticking time bomb.” 39,40,41
  • This year’s summer Arctic sea ice was at its third smallest area on record, with all three most shrunken area events occurring within the past four years.42(US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), 2010 annual report)

  • Current warming makes it unlikely that the Arctic will return to its previous conditions. 43(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Arctic Report Card 2010 Update, USA)
  • In winter 2009-2010, Arctic warming brought severely cold winds and heavy snow to eastern North America and eastern Eurasia. 44,45,46,47(Dr. James Overland of the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, USA, 2010)
  • Overall warming has extended the annual melting period for Arctic sea ice to 20 days longer now than three decades ago, meaning more heat can be absorbed by the Arctic sea, and big impacts on marine ecosystems and North American climate.48 (NASA 2010)
  • Due to disappearing ice, polar explorers were able for the first time to journey around the North Pole in a small fiberglass sailing boat, a feat that would have been impossible even 10 years ago without an ice-breaker ship because the passages were sealed with ice.49 (Norwegian polar explorer Borge Ousland, voyage started in June 2010)
  • The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth.50
  • The Arctic sea ice cover in 2007 was the lowest ever recorded and the Northwest Passage was navigable for the first time.51 Only 10% now is older and thick ice, while over 90% is newly formed and thin.52 Scientists forecast a completely ice-free summer as soon as 2012 or 2013.53,54
  • Without the protective ice to reflect sunlight, 90% of the sun's heat can enter the open water, thus accelerating global warming.55,56
  • The world’s two major ice sheets, GREENLAND AND ANTARCTICA, are now melting at accelerated rates, whereas before 2000, they were thought to be stable.57
  • Greenland is seeing its worst ice melt and glacial area loss in at least five decades.58 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Arctic Report Card 2010 Update, USA)
  • Glaciers have recently doubled or tripled their movements toward the sea.59 (Ian Joughin, University of Washington , 2010)
  • “Icequakes” caused by breaking icebergs have more than tripled since 1993.60 (Göran Ekström and Meredith Nettles, Columbia University, USA, 2010)
  • The possible, complete loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet would result in a 7-meter sea level rise.61
  • Melt water speeding the Greenland Ice Sheet melt could cause its disintegration over decades rather than centuries, as previously forecast.62 (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Colorado, USA)
  • On August 5, 2010, one-quarter of Greenland’s Petermann Glacier, four times the size of New York’s Manhattan island and the largest in nearly half a century, broke off. "The freshwater stored in this ice island could keep the Delaware or Hudson rivers flowing for more than two years," said Professor Andreas Muenchow of the University of Delaware.63,64,65
  • On the Antarctic Peninsula, 99% methane gas has been seen continuously bubbling up in certain areas of the water’s surface.66 (Argentine geologist Dr. Rodolfo del Valle)
  • A major review published in 2009 found that especially Antarctica’s ice shelves on the Western Peninsula are retreating at an ever-accelerating rate, speeded by warming waters beneath the shelves.67,68,69
  • Over 2008, the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Western Antarctic Peninsula disintegrated. In 2002, the vast 12,000-year-old Larsen B Ice Shelf took only three weeks to disintegrate entirely.70
ICE: GLACIER MELT

  • More than 46,000 glaciers and permafrost expanses are thawing rapidly in “the Third Pole,” the Earth’s 3rd largest store of ice after the Arctic and Antarctic, located on the Tibetan plateau and Himalayas. Known as “Asia’s water tower,” the region’s glacial retreat could affect more than 1.5 billion people across 10 countries. 71(Third Pole Environment program led by Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2010)
  • With Bolivia’s 18,000-year-old Chacaltaya Glacier already gone, other South American Andean glaciers could disappear within a few decades.72,73
  • Kyrgyzstan’s glaciers are receding 3 times as fast as 1950s, or as much as 50 meters per year. 95% of the glaciers could be gone by the end of the century.74 (Institute of Hydro Energy at the National Academy of Sciences in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
  • Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro has lost 85% of its glacier cover since 1912 and could be completely gone in 20 years.75 (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 2009)
  • The US’ Glacier National Park is set to be glacier-free by 2020, 10 years earlier than previously forecast. 76(US Geological Survey, 2009)

 Reference
Latest News
East Antarctic Ice Sheet more sensitive to climate changes than previously thought. - 27 Feb 2011
Mexican glacier could disappear in just a few years. - 25 Feb 2011
Tibetan Plateau glaciers in dramatic decline. - 21 Feb 2011
Unprecedented ocean warming speeding Arctic melt. - 13 Feb 2011
Antarctica to welcome youngest Asian visitor. -3 Feb 2011
Greenland melting at record pace. - 30 Jan 2011
Extensive glacier melt to continue due to global warming. - 23 Jan 2011
Antarctic melting due to rising heat from deep oceans. - 12 Jan 2011
Record high temperatures threatening Greenland's ice sheets. - 7 Jan 2010
Polar bears dying from climate change-related ice melt. - 29 Dec 2010
Accelerated glacier melt threatens food security. - 28 Dec 2010
Melting Arctic Sea ice causing colder winters. - 7 Dec 2010
Rapidly melting Kyrgyz glaciers imperil biodiversity. - 23 Nov 2010
Water accelerating ice sheet melt. - 11 Nov 2010
Rising temperatures damaging Arctic lake ecosystems. - 10 Nov 2010
Tutti i collegamenti relazionati  
68
East Antarctic Ice Sheet more sensitive to climate changes than previously thought. - 27 Feb 2011
67
Mexican glacier could disappear in just a few years. - 25 Feb 2011
66
Tibetan Plateau glaciers in dramatic decline. - 21 Feb 2011
65
Unprecedented ocean warming speeding Arctic melt. - 13 Feb 2011
64
Antarctica to welcome youngest Asian visitor. -3 Feb 2011
63
Greenland melting at record pace. - 30 Jan 2011
62
Extensive glacier melt to continue due to global warming. - 23 Jan 2011
61
Antarctic melting due to rising heat from deep oceans. - 12 Jan 2011
60
Record high temperatures threatening Greenland's ice sheets. - 7 Jan 2010
59
Polar bears dying from climate change-related ice melt. - 29 Dec 2010
58
Accelerated glacier melt threatens food security. - 28 Dec 2010
57
Melting Arctic Sea ice causing colder winters. - 7 Dec 2010
56
Rapidly melting Kyrgyz glaciers imperil biodiversity. - 23 Nov 2010
55
Water accelerating ice sheet melt. - 11 Nov 2010
54
Rising temperatures damaging Arctic lake ecosystems. - 10 Nov 2010
53
Arctic warming has global implications. - 7 Nov 2010
52
Dr. Rebecca Lee: Observations from Hong Kong’s Famed Explorer on Climate Change (In Cantonese)
Parte 1
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51
A Closer Look at the Melting of the Antarctic with Dr. Ted Scambos
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50
The Himalayan Glaciers Are Disappearing
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49
The Antarctic Melt: Interview with Professor Peter Barrett
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48
A Look at the Polar Regions with Dr. Veijo Pohjola (In Swedish)
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47
Dramatic Arctic Sea Ice Melt: An Interview with Dr. Greg Flato
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46
The Vital Role of Arctic Sea Ice: An Interview with Drs. Ted Scambos & Mark Serreze
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Parte 3
45
Argentine glaciers melting - 12 Oct 2010
44
Arctic ice region further diminished - 7 Oct 2010
43
Permafrost at Mt. Fuji and in Siberia melting at alarming rate - 28 Sep 2010
42
Satellite images reveal shrinking of Mount Ararat glaciers - 25 Sep 2010
41
Antarctic melt is speeding methane release - 23 Sep 2010
40
British cold water swimmer urges action on climate change - 20 Sep 2010
39
Massive ice chunks separate from Tasman glacier - 2 Sep 2010
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PLANET EARTH: OUR LOVING HOME Dr. Rebecca Lee: Observations from Hong Kong’s Famed Explorer on Climate Change - P1/2 (In Cantonese)
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Parte 2
 
PLANET EARTH: OUR LOVING HOME A Closer Look at the Melting of the Antarctic with Dr. Ted Scambos - P1/2
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The Himalayan Glaciers Are Disappearing
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PLANET EARTH:OUR LOVING HOME The Antarctic Melt: Interview with Professor Peter Barrett
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Pianeta Terra: la nostra amorevole dimora Uno sguardo alle regioni polari con il Dr. Veijo Pohjola (In svedese)
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PIANTETA TERRA: LA NOSTRA DOLCE DIMORE Il Ghiaccio dell'Artico si scioglie drammaticamente: Intervista con il Dott. Greg Flato - 1a parte
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PIANETA TERRA: LA NOSTRA DOLCE DIMORA Il ruolo fondamentale della banchisa polare artica: un'intervista con i dottori Ted Scambos & Mark Serreze - prima parte
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Glaciologist warns of drastic ice melt. - 11 Apr 2010
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