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View Full Version : Discussion: Greenland Glacier Speeds Up



Fraser
2004-Dec-03, 06:45 PM
SUMMARY: Scientists have used satellite photographs to track the movements of a relatively fast moving glacier in Greenland, and found that it's picking up speed, doubling its velocity in the last few years. While the glacier is speeding up, it's also thinning, losing ice at a rate of 15 metres (16.4 yards) in thickness each year. The amount of ice melting into the ocean is more than double the output that traditional climate models were predicting, and demonstrates that the world's ice caps and glaciers are much more sensitive to rising temperatures than previously believed.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/greenland_glacier_speed.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Moseley
2004-Dec-04, 12:54 AM
I read an article recently which relates to this - when the B15 lump fell off Antactica it exposed several glaciers to open ocean and they have speeded up considerably.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/t...0913larsen.html (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2004/0913larsen.html)

seems to refer to it.

JESMKS
2004-Dec-04, 03:48 AM
The North GRIP drill hole through the ice cap in the center of Greenland found that the ice near the bottom was weaker than overlying ice, crumbled and made core recovery difficult. Possiby this is the result of melting that is lubricating the contact between the ice and the underlying bedrock and is accelerating the ice movement.
Jack

Greg
2004-Dec-04, 07:03 PM
This is bad news for anyone who lives along a beach near an ocean. In the next 50 years their property may well be under water. I wonder if certain naysayers can possibly deny this piece of evidence for global warming as well as the others.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Dec-04, 07:42 PM
recent news and scientific data on the climate is sometimes very bad news

JESMKS
2004-Dec-06, 12:39 AM
The glacier movement in Greenland and Antartica is like the winter snowpack sliding off the roof in the Spring. Man's activities don't cause or prevent Spring warming and they don't or can't, in my opinion, impact the Earth's warming or recovery from the last Ice Age.
Jack

Greg
2004-Dec-06, 04:27 AM
I must refer to a coulpe of little problems with that viewpoint. Once cannot deny that the carbon dioxide levels are now higher than at any point in recorded history and without much doubt at any point since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. I do not think it is rational to assume that this will not have a warming effect on an atmosphere. Just look at Venus and you can see what alot of carbon dioxide in an atmosphere will do to a planet's surface temperature. You may have some better luck arguing about just what level of carbon dioxide crosses a significant threshold to do this. But the alarming trend is there and this should worry any sane person. The second body of evidence are ice core samples and ocean sediment samples. These clearly demonstrate cyclical changes in planetary temperatures, some extreme enough to result in ice ages. There have been attempts to attribute this to solar cycles with a mixed history of success. Setting that aside, nobody really has a sound alternative (backed by any scientific evidence) to what may be producing these variations. Based on the best data I have seen the last 100 years have been a period of unusually significant warming. Worst of all, the last 10 to 20 years of warming has been unprescedented in the record based on core samples. Instead of an expected cyclical declnie in temperatures predicted after an unusually warm period, temperatures have not dropped but instead continued to climb. Even if you are not a "chicken little" I think you have no choice to pay attention, worry , and try to do something about this, if in fact there is something we can do. It looks a whole lot that we have crossed a threshold of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere that has begun to casue an unprescedented period of warming based on the geologic record.
The results of this are well known. We just have to look back 60 million years or so for what will happen. Once the threshold for releasing trapped methane in permafrost in Russia, Canada, and the Inuit nation is exceeded global warming took off exponentially. The midwest was inundated with a shallow sea stretching to Iowa and Colorado and the Appalacians to the east. Fern forests flourished near the arctic circle. Global warming would be great news in the long run for Canada, the Inuit nation, Russia, the Scandanavian states, and North African states in the Sahara, but horrible for just about everyone else. Getting there would also not be fun for anyone. Mass extinctions would be very likely since it will happen in the blink of an eye on the time scale of evolution.
So we have a link between rising CO2 levels and unprescedented global warming. Few would deny that it is a causal relationship and many believe that a CO2 ppm threshold has been recently crossed leading to acceleration of the process. Even if you do not believe in the causal relationship completely, I am sure that you cannot provide another reasonable explanation backed by any evidence. Sayin it's just a cycle doesn't address the problem at all and I refuse to accept that there is nothing that can be done about it. So if there is something that can be done about the CO2 levels that could avert a potential disaster, why not try to limit it and see what happens? Yhe alternative is to "hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil" and allow a potentially correctable manmade problem fester. Arguments about cost are totally overblown based on data from the emissions-limiting(trading) legislation effects from the last 10 years. The actual cost to industries would be minimal in the long run if they adopt The Kyoto standards. The cost to them if there is a global environmental disaster would be enormous.

STELLY
2004-Dec-06, 07:59 PM
What can we do about global warming (ride Bikes) ? Regulate industry more or just buy up soon to be beachfront property in a few years and make a killing in the real estate market. I hate cold winters anyway 20 degrees would be great in january.

antoniseb
2004-Dec-06, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by STELLY@Dec 6 2004, 07:59 PM
What can we do about global warming?
Build machines that take sunlight, CO2, and Methane from the atmosphere and produce Oxygen, Water, and spools of Carbon nanotubes.

Greg
2004-Dec-06, 11:43 PM
The Kyoto accord is a start. The idea from this meeting was to limit the rise of carbon doxide in the atmosphere by setting caps on its emission across the globe. Based on emission trading policy that was successful in countries like the U.S. over the last decade, companies that do a better job of innovation to reduce CO2 production would be rewarded with credits it can sell to other companies that didn't do such a good job. In that way they cover the cost of developing and implementing the upgrades to trap or reduce CO2 emissions. The cap is based on current production levels and if anything may serve to punish developing nations if they decide to use cheap fossil fuels to fuel their growth. The idea is to curb or even limit the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to current levels so that no further damage can be done and so that we have time to determine if this rise in CO2 is really creating a long-term problem. In my view it is common sense and basically as fair as any international accord can get. Not joining now can mean our industries get left out in the cold and are forced to buy developed technology off the shelf developed by their competitors whose cost they are recouperating by selling it to those who didn't join early when and if it becomes obvious that CO2 emission need to be limited.

JESMKS
2004-Dec-07, 12:23 AM
Or we could try extensive cloud seeding in higher latitudes to increase the size and extent of snow packs. The larger the snow pack, the longer it lasts. The more solar reflection that we can generate reduces the amount of solar energy impacting the Earth.
Jack

Greg
2004-Dec-07, 12:33 AM
Ideas to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will take time and money to develop. The Kyoto accord is based on something that can be done now. Hydrogen fuel cells are a good long-term energy solution, however everyone would agree that this technology is more than 15 years from being realized and implemented.

Moseley
2004-Dec-07, 02:47 PM
Kyoto is fine as a target but if US and Australia (largest per capita co2 producers) just pay poor countries to stay undeveloped, whilst continuing to pollute, how much are we really gaining? It is a story of no one wanting to give up their car if they can pay someone else to take the bus. We ALL need to reduce the co2 we emit.

viditelnyj
2004-Dec-07, 05:18 PM
Greenland glaciers speed up melting especially in last years, but also (comparable) in two, three decades opposite to previous century(es) too.

Ocean water level (esp. north hemisphere) speeds up rising the same way.
Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes speed up their frequency, intensity too.

North magnetic pole speeds up its motion toward north pole-Russia similar way.

Mar's ice caps glaciers speed up melting (in last years, decade) with the same acceleration.
Sun's activity speeds up in the same level too.
Shifts of magnetic feelds, atmospheric activities, changes of axis rotations of our known Jovian planets speed up similar way too.

Source of these changes must be in space not so far from planets, when there is "parabolic" acceleration-speeding in last years. Globar warming due to burning of fosils is only partly true. Serious researches speak about it too.

Greg
2004-Dec-07, 09:57 PM
It is true that the Kyoto accord is potentially a raw deal for developing countries. The problem is that right now they are not a significant problem and won't be for 20 or more years. In my opinion the Kyoto accord really should apply to developed nations that produce the vast majority of the current CO2. So the United States and Russia have no excuse in not signing it. I think they are missing the big picture while protecting a minority of special interests, but in the long run will likely end up hurting those same interests by not signing now. It is not intended as a long term solution, merely a bandage to stop the bleeding while we figure out if there really is a problem and come up with greener energy solutions that really will make a difference. In my opinion there is no longer any doubt that a threshold of atmospheric cO2 concentration causing global warming was crossed around 1980. Based on core ice and ocean sediment samples, this period of intense warming began to deviate from any previous normal cycles around then and we are in uncharted territory now. By all previous accounts a cycle of cooling should have begun around then and we are still waiting for it to begin. If there is none by 2015 and in fact we are still warming then any trace of doubt should be erased by then.