Oceanography

Ice seems solid to the eye, but it is really a material that flows like a viscous liquid. In the polar ice sheets, it flows towards the oceans under its own weight. Knowing how fast the ice flows is of crucial importance to predict future sea level rises, especially if climate change occurs and impacts that.

For a new study, researchers used flow velocities at the surface of the northern Greenland Ice Sheet to create estimates and data from satellite images suggest that the polar ice is softer than scientists believed. 

Across the North Atlantic, shipwrecks scatter the seabed like the carcasses of prehistoric creatures. Bygone relics of sea exploration, trade, migration and conflict, these historical monuments are important sites of cultural interest. But they also form the basis of a burgeoning recreational dive tourism industry, and contribute substantially to the biodiversity and abundance of marine life.

A new paper is proposing that methane due to lakes is scarier than carbon dioxide, but it tells only one sider of the story: methane has much greater warming impact, they rightly note, but leave out that it is so short-lived it is having zero impact on climate change.

Climate change is a hot-button topic that is sure to  spark arguments between those who believe the climate is changing and those who believe it’s not, or at least that if it is, it's due to natural processes. Researchers around the world are researching ways to address climate change, some well-known and some controversial . One controversial  idea states that seeding the ocean with dissolved iron could help stave off climate change. Is this a legitimate possibility, possibly more harm than good, or just a shot in the dark?

The Amery Zig-Zags

Cracks in the Amery Ice Shelf show a prominent zig-zag form.  This is a type of crack which forms in a laminated material which is deformed under pressure.   As the laminate is forced into a curve it tends to crack in a series of radial and lateral failures.

The Amery Ice Shelf is the largest of the East Antarctic ice shelves.  Its location is shown in the map below.


Antarctica ice shelves
image courtesy NSIDC.
Something is wrong in the Arctic

It has long been predicted that as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere climbs, so too will the average global temperature, with the greatest temperature increases being seen at the poles.  This year, the polar amplification effect is in full swing, with exceptional global losses of sea ice.
Sea ice hits record lows

"What area on Mars is the most interesting for us?". My answer to this question isn’t an impressive geological feature like Olympus Mons or Valles Marineres. For me, it’s a rather unremarkable seeming crater, Richardson crater near the south pole. Let me explain why.

First this shows where it is. It is close to the south pole - this is an elevation map and I’ve trimmed it down to the southern hemisphere. You can see Olympus Mons as the obvious large mountain just right of middle, and Hellas Basin as the big depression middle left. Richardson crater is about half way between them and much further south.

Postglacial rebound, uplift in Greenland blamed on global warming, has actually made it harder to measure ice loss due to global warming, according to a new paper in Science Advances.

Declining Antarctic sea ice extents were a cornerstone of climate models - unless they began increasing. It may be that both are just natural fluctuation according to a new paper which shows that the negative phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), which is characterized by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific, has created favorable conditions for additional Antarctic sea ice growth since 2000.

Obviously that could mean that sea ice may begin to shrink as the IPO switches to a positive phase. Climate models have done a poor job of accounting for nature, they have tended to take a trend and made it linear into the future. Nature is not that predictable. 


The frequency of nuisance tidal flooding in many U.S. cities was predicted for the 2015 meteorological year, from May 2015 to April 2016, according to a new NOAA report.