IMAGE: Leverett Glacier - SW Greenland Ice Sheet - vast volumes of meltwater and associated carbon and nutrient are exported from ice sheets every year during melt. Credit: Dr Stefan Hofer

Ice sheets impact core elements of the Earth’s carbon cycle

University of Bristol The Earth’s carbon cycle is crucial in controlling the greenhouse gas content of our atmosphere, and ultimately our climate. Ice sheets which cover about 10 percent of our Earth’s land surface at present, were thought 20 years ago to be frozen wastelands, devoid of life and with supressed chemical weathering – irrelevant…

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Icebergs delay Southern Hemisphere future warming

Institute for Basic Science New research, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, has found that Antarctic icebergs can weaken and delay the effect of Global Warming in the Southern Hemisphere. Unabated Global Warming threatens the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. Recent observations reveal a rapid thinning of the Pine Island and Thwaites…

Lakes discovered beneath Greenland ice sheet

From the University of Cambridge The subglacial lakes are the first to be identified in Greenland The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, discovered two subglacial lakes 800 metres below the Greenland Ice Sheet. The two lakes are each roughly 8-10 km2, and at one point may have been up to three times larger than…

Oh, what a difference a year makes in Greenland melting

ARCTIC SUMMER SNOWSTORM By Joseph D’Aleo CCM Remember a year ago when few days of July ‘warmth’ with strong blocking over Greenland had the media abuzz over some melting? Last July a brief spell of temperatures in the mid 30s had caused some surface slush formation on top of the 1 to 1.5 mile thick…

New study: Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet melt may be natural event, no consensus on cause

Ice sheets are the largest potential source of future sea level rise – and they also possess the largest uncertainty over their future behaviour From the University of Bristol Continuous satellite monitoring of ice sheets needed to better predict sea-level rise The findings, published in Nature Geoscience, underscore the need for continuous satellite monitoring of…

Why ice loss and sea level measurements via satellite and the new Shepherd et al paper are highly uncertain at the moment

There’s a paper (Shepherd et al) on ice loss and sea level rise that has been making the rounds in media (such as this article in Science Recorder, claiming it validates global warming) that is causing some stir, mainly because it has a powerfully written press release combined with a volume of researchers (47 scientists),…

'Counterintuitive finding suggests that unexpected factors may govern a glacier's response to climate change'

From the University at Buffalo, new evidence that large ice sheets can grow/disappear quickly on decadal scales in response to regional temperature changes. A descriptive video follows. How fast can ice sheets respond to climate change? Scientists report that prehistoric glaciers reacted rapidly to a brief cold snap, providing a rare glimpse of glaciers’ response…