Antarctic glaciers on the rise

At least since 2014, the news has been dire: The West Antarctic ice sheet is losing ice, and its retreat may be unstoppable. It may be only a matter of time (granted, maybe a very long time) before it adds as much as 10 feet to global sea-level rise. Already, ice loss in the region is accelerating, nearly tripling in the past 10 years alone.

But on Thursday, scientists reported they may have discovered a possible mitigating factor, one that could slow or even prevent the ice sheet’s full collapse into the ocean.

Namely, Earth’s mantle deep beneath several key West Antarctic glaciers appears to be rebounding, rising upward as the weight of ice on top of it lifts — and doing so at a rapid rate of 41 millimeters per year, or just over 1½ inches.

“In this particular region, there is massive ice that is going away, that is melting, and we also have a massive reaction of the Earth,” said Valentina Barletta, a researcher with the Technical University of Denmark who led the work published in Science. “However, this reaction is way more than we expected.”

It's has long been known that Earth’s crust rebounds as glacial ice lifts from it. But it’s the speed that matters, and the coastal West Antarctic region seems to be showing rates that far exceed other areas of what is known as glacial isostatic adjustment.

Barletta and her colleagues, from several institutions in the United States, Denmark and the Netherlands, collected GPS measurements from rock outcroppings in West Antarctica to measure the fast rise and contend that it will help counteract the ice sheet’s collapse in three ways.

First, raising the remaining ice will lower the contact between the ocean and the ice sheet, which will decrease its tendency to float away. Second, elevating underwater surfaces can catch the ice and provide friction. Finally, easing the downward slope of the seafloor beneath the ice could slow its retreat.

The last factor is one reason that West Antarctica was thought to be in unstoppable retreat. The marine-based ice sheet sits on top of a submarine slope that runs downhill toward the center of the Antarctic continent. In such a situation, the process of ice melting from warm ocean water and retreating backward has a tendency to just keep going.

“The main result is amazing, very different from the average behavior of the Earth there in this very special region where a lot of ice is melting,” Barletta said.

Precisely how much this uplift will protect ice remains to be seen. West Antarctica’s massive glaciers are being melted by a thick, deep layer of warm ocean water that touches them at their bases. The glaciers, which are largely submerged, stand in waters hundreds of meters, or even a kilometer, deep. Thus a small rise of an inch or more every year would not be enough, on its own, to lift them above the warm water layer that is causing the damage. That melting will continue regardless.

Still, the point is that there seem to be competing forces. Christopher Harig, a geoscientist at the University of Arizona who commented on the new work by email, said: “On the one hand, we’re investigating new changes and positive feedbacks to the ice itself, such as how surface melt will increase over time and where it can increase ice loss,” he wrote. “On the other hand, here we see the negative feedback from the solid Earth might be even bigger than we thought. So what will happen in West Antarctica in the next century is a very complex question.”

The main result is amazing, very different from the average behavior of the Earth there in this very special region where a lot of ice is melting

Harig and Barletta also pointed out that if the earth is rising more than previously thought below West Antarctica, then West Antarctica is losing more ice than we thought.

When scientists measure the mass loss of West Antarctica using gravity readings from satellites, they include an adjustment for any mass increase that is coming from the rising earth. But if there is more solid earth rise than they thought, then the ice mass loss must also have been larger to achieve the same total change in mass.

But that adjustment “won’t impact the large acceleration in ice loss we’ve seen over the past decade,” Harig said. “This model does change with time, but the changes in the ice we’ve seen are still much greater.”

So, in sum, there’s an unexpected factor out there that could help rescue West Antarctica – but it remains to be seen whether it’s enough to make a difference.

“It, for sure, needs to be studied,” Barletta said.

Some Antarctic glaciers on the rise, giving scientists hope for the future of the Earth’s ice sheet | National Post
#2're gonna break some snowflakes.

...and you'll get a half baked snowflake omelet if you are not careful.
Last edited by Danbones; Jun 22nd, 2018 at 07:19 PM..
Liquid quiche.
I hope that one day the Antarctic will be ice free so that we will be able to see all of the Antarctic pyramids.
I want the gold.
Bar Sinister
Interesting, but the question arises as to whether this will slow the rate of melting. So far that does not seem to be the case.
+3 / -1
#7  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar Sinister View Post

Interesting, but the question arises as to whether this will slow the rate of melting. So far that does not seem to be the case.


AS usual he is clueless!!!!!!!

THERE IS a way to save the glaciers and the environment!!!!

AND we can save our economy from dying in debt as well!!!!!

All we need to do is to cut back on gravy for our civil service union Hogs!!!!!!!


Here is an interesting article that illustrates how poorly LIE-berals are handling environmental issues. With some comments of my own in brackets):

Empty skies after 9/11 set the stage for an unlikely climate change experiment.

By Patrick Cain National Online Journalist, News Global News. Sept 12, 2016.

(Some reader swill recall my previous posts- with information taken from Cdn Geographic magazine about how the 9/11 terror attack grounded 25 percent of the worlds airline fleet- and a year later the air across the planet was measurably cleaner! This article expands on that old report!)

On the morning of September 11, 2001, officials at the U.S. national air control centre couldn’t make out what was happening, at first.

As controllers watched the second plane crash into the World Trade Center complex just after 9 a.m., however, it became clear that the first one hadn’t been a spectacular accident, but something much more sinister. Planes were becoming fuel-filled missiles. How many? Nobody knew.

Officials at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration did the only thing they could think of to try to control the situation: ordering every aircraft in U.S. airspace, about 4,000 of them, to land somewhere, anywhere, immediately.

Canadian officials followed. Airports in Atlantic Canada quickly filled with thousands of bewildered people who had been flying west across the Atlantic from Europe, but found themselves stranded in Goose Bay, Labrador or Stephenville, Nfld.

Within a few hours, the skies across the continent were empty except for military aircraft. Here’s what it looked like: Civilian air traffic wouldn’t resume for three days.

Thousands of jet aircraft leave contrails over North America every day, especially over the U.S. eastern seaboard and the Midwest. Contrails are created when water vapour in hot air blasted out of jet engines freezes in the intense cold of high altitudes.

Do all those jet trails change weather patterns? It’s hard to tell, normally. But with the once-busy skies silent and empty, the scene was set for a giant experiment.

“I remember walking to and from my office (in the days after the attacks) and thinking how incredibly clear the skies were,” Andrew Carleton, a geographer at Pennsylvania State University, later wrote.

About a year after the attacks, Carleton, David Travis, a geographer at the University of Wisconsin, and another colleague argued in a paper that thin clouds created by contrails reduce the range of temperatures. By contributing to cloud cover during the day, they reflect solar energy that would otherwise have reached the earth’s surface. At night, they trap warmth that would otherwise have escaped.

The effect during the three days that flights were grounded was strongest in populated regions where air traffic was normally densest. The increase in range came to about two degrees Celsius.

(IN other words- it isnt just the carbon monoxide and other gases that engines produce that we must worry about! The water vapour being generated is also a SERIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT! And the latest jet engines have the ironic quality of being both more fuel efficient and more environmentally unsound since the new engines spit out larger lumps of carbon that water droplets coalesce around more easily than the smaller lumps from older engines! The new more fuel efficient engines actually accelerate the production of contrails! And the new Airbus 380`s actually fly few thousand ft higher where the air is even colder and condensation is further facilitated!)

Other studies have tended to back up the research. In 2011, British scientists wrote that an air raid in May 1944 involving over 1,400 aircraft measurably lowered daytime temperatures in England. In that case, the situation was the reverse of 9/11 – large-scale air travel was unknown, and dense concentrations of large planes were rare.

In 2004, NASA scientist Patrick Minnis wrote that “increased cirrus coverage, attributable to air traffic, could account for nearly all of the warming observed over the United States for nearly 20 years starting in 1975.”

Minnis also argued that a steady increase in cloud cover over the United States, about one per cent a decade, was due to increasing air travel. He also found that increases in cloud cover were more pronounced in populated areas, and stronger in winter, when contrails are bigger.

The warming effect happened because the high-altitude clouds that contrails created tended to trap warm air, Minnis wrote. On balance, though contrails can both warm and cool, there is more of a warming effect.

A Penn State study compared regions of the United States where contrails tended to form more strongly with areas where they didn’t. The more contrail-heavy the area, the less the variation between daytime highs and nighttime lows tended to be.

In a 2005 paper, physicist Robert Noland of Imperial College London suggested that restricting airliners to 31,000 feet, and 24,000 feet in winter, could reduce the formation of contrails. Though lower-flying planes would be less fuel-efficient, Noland argued that the increased fuel consumption would be more than made up for by less contrail-linked clouds as a cause of global warming.

(So we now have solid proof that airplane contrails are contributing to global warming and are a major source of air pollution - just as the old articles from Cdn Geographic magazine claimed. Therefore the LIE-beral carbon crap and trade tax will do NOTHING to clean the air- nor save us from global warming! As I and many others have repeatedly pointed out- LIE-beral crap and trade just cleans wallets and leaves the dirt in the air!)

(The carbon crap and trade tax is nothing more than a LIE-beral gravy grabbing scam that will ensure that civil service union Hogs can continue to spew their major masses of carbon from their gas guzzling toys and will continue to fly to places like Florida- at vast environmental cost- for those vitally important rounds of golf! And we have yet to discuss the environmental degradation brought on by heavy use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers at those golf courses- which all to often run into the nearest body of water after a rain storm- with MORE ugly environmental results!)

We just need to cut back on gravy for
Warm water at depth under colder water? May be some volcanics?

Quote: Originally Posted by spaminator View Post

I hope that one day the Antarctic will be ice free so that we will be able to see all of the Antarctic pyramids.

Sorry, but not in this solar cycle. IMO
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

Warm water at depth under colder water? May be some volcanics?

Sorry, but not in this solar cycle. IMO

Clueless twits!!!!!

Water has a unique property of increasing volume as it gets colder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

\This is why ice floats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Curious Cdn
We'd better burn lots more oil and coal and stop this before it gets out of hand.

Husky will save us the best.

Buy Husky!
What if you run out just when it gets cold? Perhaps set the thermostat at 1 setting and just leave it there.
Curious Cdn
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

What if you run out just when it gets cold? Perhaps set the thermostat at 1 setting and just leave it there.

Maybe, we should ask the Random Internet Climate Expert.

He'll have an answer, all ready to go. "Should we burn ALL of our fossil fuel at once to prevent this rapid cooling of the Earth that Random Internet Climate Experts have detected all over the oil producing regions of Western North America?"
Louder, he didn't hear it apparently.
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

Louder, he didn't hear it apparently.

Let me refresh the memories of empty headed LIE-berals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your electric Toy vehicles LACK the following:

LACK good range in cold weather!

LACK good cargo capacity!!

LACK ANY towing capacity!!!!

LACK ANY capacity to be acceptable to the general public UNLESS they get HUGE govt subsidies!!!!!!

LACK any place to quickly refuel and recharge - UNLESS govt spends millions setting up such chargers!!!! And the electric car

charger program being put in place by Ontari-owe LIE-berals is currently a shambles- with- at last count- less than half the chargers

installed and with those that are installed either failing to deliver the specified charging rate or being totally NONFUNCTIONAL!

LACK credibility as a saviour of the environment since Lithium is at least as toxic as oil thus LIE-berals are spending HUGE sums of

BORROWED money that we cannot afford- so they can BRIBE a privileged few into buying their electric TOYS!!!

LACK credibility due to electricity having a larger carbon footprint than LIE-berals wish to admit to!!!!!

LIE-berals can cheer their mouldy green energy program if they wish- but they should ALSO ADMIT that when they set up that mouldy green they also built a parallel collection of natural gas fueled electric generators that are kept fully fired and ready to take over at a moments notice when the grossly unreliable mouldy green FAILS US YET AGAIN!!!!! Thus LIE-beral mouldy green power is NOT as clean as LIE-berals claim!!!!

The nicest thing we can say about LIE-beral electric Toy vehicles is that Ford has killed that LIE-beral slush fund!!!!!

Similar Threads

I'll Miss The Glaciers
by Locutus | May 5th, 2016
Some Asian glaciers 'putting on mass'
by Locutus | Apr 15th, 2012
California glaciers thriving
by Praxius | Jul 10th, 2008
Scientists: Greenland Glaciers Retreating
by I think not | Dec 8th, 2005