Arctic Ice October 2010
... the land being very high and full of mightie mountaines all covered with snowe, no viewe of wood, grasse or earth to be seene, and the shore two leages of into the sea so full of yce as that no shipping cold by any meanes come neere the same. The lothsome viewe of the shore, and irksome noyse of the yce was such as that it bred strange conceipts among us, so that we supposed the place to be wast and voyd of any sencible or vegitable creatures, whereupon I called the same Desolation.
A group of researchers say receding glaciers due to global warming at the end of the last ice age, 20,000-100,000 years ago, resulted in the rampant biodiversity left behind in their wake.
Certainly it is true there is much less biodiversity at the poles, though likely there are limits in how hot we want the planet to be.
Investigating fossil clams and snails Steffen Kiel and Sven Nielsen at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) say retreating glaciers created a mosaic landscape of countless islands, bays and fiords in which new species developed rapidly, geologically speaking.
We are a water planet but 10% of Earth is covered in ice - ice that is melting in ways that have to be a concern.
To get a handy view of what is happening in the big areas, Greenland, the Arctic and the Antarctic, NASA have put together a Global Ice Viewer
You can zoom in on Ilulissat Glacier, which is is depositing icebergs in cubic kilometer denominations equivalent to 9.3 trillion gallons per year - if that sounds like 14 million Olympic-sized swimming pools every 365 days, it is. Or Antarctica, where ice shelves the size of small U.S. states have collapsed in recent years.
The huge ice island which calved from Petermann Glacier on August 4th was stuck in the mouth of Petermann Fjord for quite some time. As I had suggested, it did not get into Nares Strait as a single ice island. It broke into two main parts: Petermann 2010-A and Petermann 2010-B
Petermann Ice Island 2010-B
Petermann Ice Island - Now There Are two
Petermann Ice Island (2010) has now broken into two parts. The smaller island is about 80 km2. It is the thinner of the two and is likely to melt away first. Based on the labels already in use in comments1
, I shall designate the larger island as Petermann 2010-A and the smaller one as Petermann 2010-B.Petermann Ice Islands A and B
image source: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/images/MODIS/Kennedy/201009091609.ASAR.jpg
Arctic Ice September 2010 - Update #1
This is my first update to Arctic Ice September 2010.
The Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps are melting at half the speed previously predicted, shows a team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, The Netherlands) and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research in Nature Geoscience.
The melting of the ice caps has been charted since 2002 using the measurements produced by the two GRACE satellites. From space they detect small changes in the Earth's gravitational field and these changes are related to the exact distribution of mass on Earth, including ice and water. When ice melts and lands in the sea, this therefore has an effect on the gravitational field.
Arctic Ice September 2010
As I write these words - September 01 2010 - Arctic sea ice extent as reported by NSIDC and JAXA is not as low as I had expected it to be.
image source: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
The IARC-JAXA graph shows 2010 extent as 4th lowest of recent years thus far, behind 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Arctic Ice August 2010 - Update #3
The NSIDC has just issued an update report for August -
August 17, 2010
North by Northwest
The end of summer is approaching in the Arctic; temperatures are dropping and melt is ending in the high latitudes. Yet summer is not quite over in the lower latitudes of the Arctic Ocean, where sea ice extent continues to decline. Sea ice has melted out extensively in the northern route of the Northwest Passage, but the passage is not completely open.
Arctic Ice August 2010 - Update #2
Since I last posted an update, many things have happened in the Arctic and sub-Arctic.
In my last update - Arctic Ice August 2010 - Update #1
- I noted that there were no floes in the main pack bigger than 35km2. I invited my readers to find a floe bigger than that anywhere in the main ice pack. Nobody did. Yes, there were a few bigger floes - even big enough to be called ice islands - but they were not in the main pack.