Skip to comments.Ice melting across globe at accelerating rate, NASA says (except, uh, the ANTARCTIC!)
Posted on 12/17/2008 6:10:48 AM PST by PreciousLiberty
(CNN) -- Between 1.5 trillion and 2 trillion tons of ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted at an accelerating rate since 2003, according to NASA scientists, in the latest signs of what they say is global warming. This image shows the changing rate of mass in mountain glaciers on the Gulf of Alaska.
Using new satellite technology that measures changes in mass in mountain glaciers and ice sheets, NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke concluded that the losses amounted to enough water to fill the Chesapeake Bay 21 times.
"The ice tells us in a very real way how the climate is changing," said Luthcke, who will present his findings this week at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, California.
NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, mission uses two orbiting satellites to measure the "mass balance" of a glacier, or the net annual difference between ice accumulation and ice loss.
"A few degrees of change [in temperature] can increase the amount of mass loss, and that contributes to sea level rise and changes in ocean current," Luthcke said.
The data reflects findings from NASA colleague Jay Zwally, who uses different satellite technology to observe changing ice volume in Greenland, the Arctic and Antarctica.
In the past five years, Greenland has lost between 150 gigatons and 160 gigatons each year, (one gigaton equals one billion tons) or enough to raise global sea levels about .5 mm per year, said Zwally, who will also present his findings at the conference this week.
GRACE measured that mountain glaciers in the Gulf of Alaska lost about 84 gigatons each year, about five times the average annual flow of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, according to NASA.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
This was discussed yesterday and although the amount of ice mentioned in the article sounds huge it represents only a tiny fraction of 1% of the total ice. Wish I could remember the number.
That would amount to ice in an area that is 10 feet deep by 200 miles by 200 miles melting.
Not a very big chunk. Sounds really large but when you do the math it isnt a big area at all.
Burnt up any astronauts lately?
The Little Ice Age ended in the mid-1800s. Many of the modern climate records date from that period, or shortly thereafter, with the predictable result that today’s temperatures are indeed some of the warmest on record, but only because the records starting being kept as the Northern Hemisphere was coming out of an Ice Age. A normal person might also suspect that shrinkage in glaciers and ice cover would be a natural result of the return to warmer weather. Greenland had a fairly mild climate up until the Little Ice Age (thus the name), but now a return to an earlier, more temperate climate is viewed as a cause for alarm.
“That would amount to ice in an area that is 10 feet deep by 200 miles by 200 miles melting.
Not a very big chunk. Sounds really large but when you do the math it isnt a big area at all.”
I “did the math” on the “2 trillion tons of ice melt” article yesterday. 2 trillion tons represents about 0.0074% of the world’s landlocked ice. The claim also ignores any accretion elsewhere. lol!
2 trillion tons of ice is only a cube that is 7.6 miles x 7.6 miles x 7.6 miles.
That ain’t squat!
10 feet deep by 200 miles by 200 miles melting.
Sounds like the thaw in Upstate New York every year! ;^)
If you see the word NASA in any story about temperature/global warming/ice melting, but you don’t see the name James Hansen then you know if it a covert attempt by Hansen to get NASA into the fray again without raising the suspicions of critics.
NASA is no longer an honest broker and hasn’t been for a long time. Bush needs to fire James Hansen before he leaves office of this religious zealot will cause trillions of dollars in loss to our economy by corrupting the science behind all decisions the Feds make.
Any press release from NASA should be immediate ignored or attacked because there is no need for NASA to be promoting any information. Scientists don’t put out press releases about the daily temperature unless they are lying about the data to make a point.
NASA can just go Juan de Fuca itself!
PANIC! At the rate of .5 mm/yr, that'll be 50mm by this time next century. That's ALMOST TWO WHOLE INCHES!
Hey PreciousLiberty, check out this article: http://redgreenandblue.org/2008/11/15/schwarzenegger-orders-california-to-prepare-for-sea-level-rise/
.5mm a year, that’s what, 600 years before it rises a foot, and there’s no increase or new ice. What do you think they’re after in California? Control over the water supply?
Not to give the socialists another idea but I wonder how uneven ice mass changes affect Earth’s wobble. This would influence local climates. Using snow making technology we could probably change Earth’s wobble if we wanted to.
I understand your skepticism, but they are talking about land-based ice (Antarctica), so it’s true that ice loss = sea level rise.
Then the good news again for the leftists is that it's not about "solving" anything. It's about redistributing those trillions of dollars.
Have the gains in the Antarctic exceeded the reported losses elsewhere?
Hansen’s really going all out to shill for the new Kyoto agreement that’s being crafted in Poland.
Lies... all lies.
What free market?
Haven't you hear?
"I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system to make sure the economy doesn't collapse."---George Bush
Do you think that Zero and the liberal congress is going to squander this opportunity to nationalize as much of the 'free market' as possible?
“Do you think that Zero and the liberal congress is going to squander this opportunity to nationalize as much of the ‘free market’ as possible?”
You’re right. Then the only option is to let NASA die. I’m good with that.
Just damn. It sure as hell won’t melt off my front walkway.
Could we please just throw these liars in the pokey soon?
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