ice melt

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Greenland Is Getting Darker Before Our Very Eyes

The frosty island could soon be 10% darker than it is today

(Newser) - The white, reflective surface of Greenland's snowpack is getting darker and less reflective, all thanks to what the Christian Science Monitor calls "positive feedback loops"—the idea that a little bit of melting leads to more and faster melting. "We knew that these processes had been... More »

Scientists Find Key Culprit in Antarctic Ice Melt

Underwater storms bringing warm water to polar ice: study

(Newser) - Storms aren't just a result of global warming, they may actually be causing the unstoppable Antarctic ice melt . Robots patrolling more than 3,250 feet below the Weddell Sea have discovered underwater storms are helping thaw Antarctic ice as they drive warm water toward polar ice shelves. Essentially, researchers... More »

Arctic Hasn't Been This Warm in 44K Years

Maybe even far longer, according to new study

(Newser) - The Arctic's current warming trend is the worst it's experienced in at least 44,000 years—and possibly even longer—a new study has concluded. Scientists examining vegetation in the Canadian Arctic found recently-exposed moss that, based on radiocarbon dating, was between 44,000 and 51,000 years... More »

Arctic Ice Hits Drastic New Low

Melt ends with ice 293K square miles below 2007 record

(Newser) - Sea ice in the Arctic shrank to a record low on August 27 —and kept shrinking for 20 days. The sea has finally begun to refreeze after bottoming out on September 16 at 1.32 million square miles, almost 300,000 square miles less than the record set at... More »

China Muscles In on Race for Piece of Arctic Pie

Beijing increasingly aggressive as stakes get higher

(Newser) - As Arctic ice continues to melt at a disturbing pace , the "Cold War" in the region is heating up. Global superpowers, excited about the oil, gas, minerals, and shipping lanes that are being made newly available thanks to the melting ice, are vying for position in the region—and... More »

Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to New Low

And the melt will likely continue another 2 weeks

(Newser) - It's a record that won't likely last very long: The Arctic sea ice cover today hit a record low, announced the National Snow and Ice Data Center, but the shrinking isn't about to stop. The ice cover had reduced to 1.58 million square miles as of... More »

Satellite Spots Vast Greenland Ice Melt

97% surface melt unprecedented in 30 years of satellite observations

(Newser) - Greenland isn't just losing Manhattan-sized chunks of ice from its huge glaciers. A heat-dome that moved over Greenland on July 8 caused surface melt to soar from 40% to an unprecedented 97% in just four days, reports Live Science . Typically, just half of Greenland's surface ice melts during... More »

Arctic Melting Faster Than Expected

Report adds 2 to 3 feet to global sea level prediction

(Newser) - Global sea levels are likely to raise two or three feet more than previously predicted this century, because the Arctic is melting significantly faster than expected, scientists conclude in a new report being presented to international officials today. The report, which examined the past six years' worth of data, predicts... More »

Greenland, Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Expected

Ice sheets could send sea level up 6 inches by 2050

(Newser) - The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting significantly faster than previously estimated, according to a new international report led by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Unless the trend is reversed, the melting ice sheets will push global sea levels up six inches by 2050, the scientists... More »

US Glaciers Shrinking Fast

(Newser) - Three major glaciers in Alaska and Washington state have rapidly shrunk over the last 50 years due to global warming—and the melting is accelerating as the climate changes, notes a government study released yesterday. The glaciers, chosen as "benchmarks" because their conditions closely parallel those of thousands of... More »

Glaciers May Vanish in 'Geologic Instant'

Prehistoric glacier's rapid meltdown could happen again: researchers

(Newser) - New data about a prehistoric Canadian glacier that rapidly vanished is giving scientists a stronger model to predict the radical effects of climate change. It's very possible that the same conditions could quickly shrink today's larger ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, prompting sea levels to soar in a "... More »

Warming Is Polar Bears' Top Killer, Host Nations Agree

US, Russia, Norway, Denmark and Canada sign joint statement on bear population

(Newser) - Five nations whose land is home to polar bears signed a joint statement today declaring global warming to be the biggest threat to the animals, AFP reports. Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway, Russia, and the US agree that “long-term conservation of polar bears depends upon successful mitigation of climate change,”... More »

Fishing Banned in Melting Arctic

Federal panel moves to block trawlers from newly accessible waters

(Newser) - A federal panel has voted to block fishing trawlers from moving into a vast area of the Arctic Sea made newly accessible by melting ice, the New York Times reports. The move will protect 150,000 square nautical miles of US waters north of the Bering Strait while scientists assess... More »

Arctic Ice at 2nd-Smallest Level

Melting amid cool conditions raises red flags

(Newser) - Arctic sea ice shrunk to its second-lowest size this summer, up 10% from last year's record, reports Reuters. The melting may not appear as noteworthy as that of 2007, said one research scientist, but the season's conditions prove otherwise. Last year's mix of warm air and favorable winds shifted the... More »

Scientists Spot Crack at Top of the World

Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier breaking up

(Newser) - A huge crack—seven miles long and a half-mile wide—has opened in a northern Greenland glacier as an 11-square-mile chunk of ice appears to be breaking off. The phenomenon is occurring in the Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier, once thought largely immune to the effects of global warming, reports... More »

Greens Blast Arctic 'Carve Up'

Environmentalists rip pending 'resource grab' after nations meet

(Newser) - Environmentalists are slamming an agreement reached at a closed-door meeting among nations with Arctic claims as a resource free-for-all, the Guardian reports. Ministers from the US, Canada, Russia, Denmark, and Norway insist they simply agreed to abide by the law of the sea—but green groups charge that the nations... More »

Huge New Cracks Seen in Arctic Ice Shelf

Giant ice shelf is falling apart and could float away

(Newser) - A Canadian expedition has found a major new network of cracks, more than 10 miles long, in the Arctic's ice shelves, the BBC reports. Scientists say the huge shelves are disintegrating; pieces become "ice islands" that can float hundreds of miles away as climate changes takes hold. Arctic sea... More »

Glacial Melt Hit Record in '06

Study finds glaciers lost an average of 4.9 feet of ice

(Newser) - Glaciers shrank an alarming average of 4.9 feet in 2006, the UN Environment Program says—a dramatic difference from ice loss numbers in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when glaciers lost an average 11.8 inches a year. UNEP’s director pointed to "many canaries in the... More »

Ice Melt Imperils Baby Seals

Climate change does a number on Baltic population

(Newser) - They’re cute, they’re endangered, and they’re some of global warming’s first casualties. Baby seals throughout the Baltic Sea are dying, Der Spiegel reports, as rising temperatures melt the protective dens they rely on to survive. “The situation is dramatic,” said one environmental activist. “... More »

Antarctica Speeds Into Trouble

Disturbing new discovery indicates climate change is accelerating

(Newser) - Parts of Antarctica thought to be unaffected by global warming are in fact melting as the temperature of the oceans rises, and in parts of the continent, annual ice loss has jumped 140% in the past decade, new research shows. Satellite mapping shows change on a previously unimagined scale, reports... More »

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