Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Posts Tagged ‘glaciers’

Klyuchevskaya Erupting Until Further Notice!

Posted by feww on April 10, 2010

Serial No  1,556. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by the authorities/Google in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Volcanoes and Glaciers Don’t Mix

Satellite Images of Klyuchevskaya Volcano

The 4,750-meter Klyuchevskaya is the highest and most active volcano on Kamchatka Peninsula, NE Russia.


Klyuchevskaya Volcano is still erupting. Natural-color satellite image by MODIS was acquired April 7, 2010.   A plume of ash about 370 meters was reported above the crater summit.  The dark tint seen on the lower slopes of the Shiveluch Volcano, located to the northeast of Klyuchevskaya, is ash deposits from an earlier eruption. Source: NASA/EO.


A plume towered above the summit of Klyuchevskaya Volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula on February 13, 2010, when the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this false-color image. Directly over the summit, the plume is bright white, suggesting more steam than ash. The steep, cone-shaped volcano was shrouded in snow, and the rugged terrain was being illuminated from the south, which created dramatic shadows to the north and west. Both the mountain itself and the plume are casting a shadow (brown area) on the western and northern flanks of the volcano. Within this shadow, black rivulets of lava are visible on the northwest slopes. (Date: 13 February 2010). Image and caption: NASA


Klyuchevskaya’s most recent phase of eruptive activity began in January 2005. On February 21, the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team reported a lava flow down the northern flank of the volcano that melted a large portion of the Ehrman Glacier, the largest of several small glaciers capping the summit and flanks of the volcano. Image captured by ASTER  on NASA’s Terra satellite February 24, 2004. Source: NASA/EO.

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Posted in Kamchatka peninsula, Klyuchevskaya Volcano, Shiveluch volcano, volcanism, volcano | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Greenland Ice Sheet Losing Ice Mass

Posted by feww on March 24, 2010

Greenland Ice Sheet Losing Ice Mass on Northwest Coast: International Study

Greenland ice sheet lost about 1,604 km³ (385 cubic miles) of ice between April 2002 and February 2009, an amount equivalent to about 0.5 mm of sea-level rise each year, researchers say.

Greenland ice sheet has been losing an increasing amount of ice since 2000. Previously most of the loss was concentrated in its southern region, but now the loss is occurring in its northwest coast, a new international study says.


Click image to enlarge.


Greenland Melt Extent, 2005: Konrad Steffen and Russell Huff – Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder

Researchers from Denmark Technical Institute’s National Space Institute in Copenhagen and the University of Colorado at Boulder say the ice-loss acceleration started moving up the northwest coast of Greenland in late 2005. “The team drew their conclusions by comparing data from NASA’s Gravity and Recovery Climate Experiment satellite system, or GRACE, with continuous GPS measurements made from long-term sites on bedrock on the edges of the ice sheet.”

The uplift rates of about 4 centimeters  were discovered close to the Thule Air Base on Greenland’s northwest coast between October 2005 to August 2009. “Although the low resolution of GRACE—a swath of about 155 miles, or 250 kilometers across—is not precise enough to pinpoint the source of the ice loss, the fact that the ice sheet is losing mass nearer to the ice sheet margins suggests the flows of Greenland outlet glaciers there are increasing in velocity, said the study authors.” The report said

“When we look at the monthly values from GRACE, the ice mass loss has been very dramatic along the northwest coast of Greenland,” said CU-Boulder physics Professor and study co-author John Wahr, also a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

“This is a phenomenon that was undocumented before this study,” said Wahr. “Our speculation is that some of the big glaciers in this region are sliding downhill faster and dumping more ice in the ocean.”

“These changes on the Greenland ice sheet are happening fast, and we are definitely losing more ice mass than we had anticipated, ” said Isabella Velicogna of the University of California-Irvine, who also is a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We also are seeing this ice mass loss trend in Antarctica, a sign that warming temperatures really are having an effect on ice in Earth’s cold regions.”

Click here for the rest of the report and a computer simulation of Greenland Ice Melt.

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Posted in Ice Mass, ice-loss, ice-loss acceleration, polar ice, sea level rise | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Canceling Your Life Insurance Policy with Nature

Posted by feww on April 15, 2008

WILD FACTS SERIES

Ice and Snow

Humans are in a great hurry to cancel their life insurance policy with nature, melting the snow and ice. As a result of climate change, mountain snow and glaciers are melting earlier, in the spring instead of summer, resulting in water scarcity during the hotter summer months when the precious water is most needed.


Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 (Image credit: Luca Galuzzi via wikimedia commons)

“This is just a time bomb,” said hydrologist Wouter Buytaert at a meeting of geoscientists in Vienna.

Areas most at risk from water shortages include the United States, South America, Australia, the Middle East, southern Africa, and the Mediterranean.

The most vulnerable places are earth’s sub-tropic zones, where 70 percent of the world’s population live. Report

The following information is mirrored from the USGS Webpage

Ice caps influence the weather

Just because water in an ice cap or glacier is not moving does not mean that it does not have a direct effect on other aspects of the water cycle and the weather. Ice is very white, and since white reflects sunlight (and thus, heat), large ice fields can determine weather patterns. Air temperatures can be higher a mile above ice caps than at the surface, and wind patterns, which affect weather systems, can be dramatic around ice-covered landscapes.

Some glacier and ice cap facts

Picture of Stephens Glacier, Alaska.

  • Glacial ice covers 10-11 percent of all land.
  • According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), if all glaciers melted today the seas would rise about 230 feet (70 meters).
  • During the last ice age (when glaciers covered more land area than today) the sea level was about 400 feet (122 meters) lower than it is today. At that time, glaciers covered almost one-third of the land.
  • During the last warm spell, 125,000 years ago, the seas were about 18 feet (5.5 meters) higher than they are today. About three million years ago the seas could have been up to 165 feet (50.3 meters) higher.
  • Largest surface area of any glacier in the contiguous United States: Emmons Glacier, Washington (4.3 square miles or 11 square kilometers)

ice caps and global water distribution

Charts showing that 1.7 percent of Earth's water is ice and 68.7 percent of freshwater on Earth is ice. Even though the amount of water locked up in glaciers and ice caps is a small percentage of all water on (and in) the Earth, it represents a large percentage of the world’s total freshwater. As these charts and the data table show, the amount of water locked up in ice and snow is only about 1.7 percent of all water on Earth, but the majority of total freshwater on Earth, about 68.7 percent, is held in ice caps and glaciers.

One estimate of global water distribution
Water source Water volume, in cubic miles Water volume, in cubic kilometers Percent of total water Percent of total freshwater
Ice caps, Glaciers, & Permanent snow 5,773,000 24,064,000 1.7% 68.7%
Total global freshwater 8,404,000 35,030,000 2.5%
Total global water 332,500,000 1,386,000,000
Source: Gleick, P. H., 1996: Water resources. In Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, ed. by S. H. Schneider, Oxford University Press, New York, vol. 2, pp.817-823.

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Posted in agriculture, Drought, flood, freshwater, water shortage | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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