Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




ICE WORLD
New climate history adds to understanding of recent Antarctic Peninsula warming
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Aug 27, 2012


The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming places on Earth - average temperatures from meteorological stations near James Ross Island have risen by nearly 2C in the past 50 years.

Results published this week by a team of polar scientists from Britain, Australia and France adds a new dimension to our understanding of Antarctic Peninsula climate change and the likely causes of the break-up of its ice shelves. The first comprehensive reconstruction of a 15,000 year climate history from an ice core collected from James Ross Island in the Antarctic Peninsula region is reported this week in the journal Nature.

The scientists reveal that the rapid warming of this region over the last 100 -years has been unprecedented and came on top of a slower natural climate warming that began around 600 years ago.

These centuries of continual warming meant that by the time the unusual recent warming began, the Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves were already poised for the dramatic break-ups observed from the 1990's onwards.

The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming places on Earth - average temperatures from meteorological stations near James Ross Island have risen by nearly 2C in the past 50 years.

Lead author Dr Robert Mulvaney OBE, from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) says, "This is a really interesting result. One of the key questions that scientists are attempting to answer is how much of the Earth's recently observed warming is due to natural climate variation and how much can be attributed to human activity since the industrial revolution. The only way we can do this is by looking back through time when the Earth experienced ice ages and warm periods, and ice cores are a very good method for doing this."

Dr Mulvaney continues, "We know that something unusual is happening in the Antarctic Peninsula. To find out more we mounted a scientific expedition to collect an ice core from James Ross Island - on the northernmost tip of the Peninsula.

Within the 364m long core are layers of snow that fell every year for the last 50,000 years. Sophisticated chemical analysis - at BAS and the NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory (part of British Geological Survey) - was used to re-create a temperature record over this period.

"For this study we looked in detail at the last 15,000 years - from the time when the Earth emerged from the last ice age and entered into the current warm period. What we see in the ice core temperature record is that the Antarctic Peninsula warmed by about 6C as it emerged from the last ice age.

By 11,000 years ago the temperature had risen to about 1.3C warmer than today's average and other research indicates that the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet was shrinking at this time and some of the surrounding ice shelves retreated. The local climate then cooled in two stages, reaching a minimum about 600 years ago.

The ice shelves on the northern Antarctic Peninsula expanded during this cooling. Approximately 600 years ago the local temperature started to warm again, followed by a more rapid warming in the last 50-100 years that coincides with present-day disintegration of ice shelves and glacier retreat."

Co-Author Dr Nerilie Abram formerly from British Antarctic Survey and now with the Research School of Earth Sciences, at The Australian National University says, "The centuries of ongoing warming have meant that marginal ice shelves on the northern Peninsula were poised for the succession of collapses that we have witnessed over the last two decades.

"And if this rapid warming that we are now seeing continues, we can expect that ice shelves further south along the Peninsula that have been stable for thousands of years will also become vulnerable."

Olivier Alemany, from the French Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l'Environnement was part of the expedition. He says,

"The international polar science community has collected and analysed ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland as part of an effort to reconstruct the Earth's past climate and atmosphere. Our team wanted to understand how the recent warming and the loss of ice shelves compared to the longer term climate trends in the region."

This research makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the role that Antarctica's ice sheets play in influencing future climate and sea-level rise. It was funded by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council).

.


Related Links
British Antarctic Survey
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Man partly to blame for Antarctic ice shelf collapse: study
Paris (AFP) Aug 22, 2012
An ice core extracted from an Antarctic islet has yielded further evidence of the impact of man-made warming on the frozen continent, fuelling concern for the future of ice shelves, a report said Wednesday. The 364-metre (1,183-feet) ice core drilled from James Ross Island on the Antarctic peninsula has been studied in laboratories in Europe for the past four years, for its 15,000-year recor ... read more


ICE WORLD
Green Climate Fund to hold next meeting in South Korea

Tanker-bus crash inferno kills 36 in China

China bridge collapse kills three

Haiti demolishes quake-ruined presidential palace

ICE WORLD
Is This Real or Just Fantasy? ONR Augmented-Reality Initiative Progresses

SciTechTalk: Tablets: Does size matter?

US braces for holiday clash of tech giants

Apple scores huge win over Samsung in patent case

ICE WORLD
Isaac rains boost Cuba water reserves

Finland leads major counter-pollution drill in Baltic Sea

Sea life 'facing major shock'

U OF A expert pinpoints nutrient behind fresh water algae blooms

ICE WORLD
Arctic ice melts to record low: US researchers

New climate history adds to understanding of recent Antarctic Peninsula warming

Greenpeace raids Russian Arctic oil platform

Google online maps embark on Arctic adventure

ICE WORLD
Access to water key for food security: FAO chief

Underground solution to starving rice plants

Good news for banana lovers: Help may be on the way to slow that rapid over-ripening

Soybeans Susceptible to Man-Made Materials in Soil

ICE WORLD
Floods kill 10, displace 20,000 in Nigeria after dam opened

7.3 quake off El Salvador, no injuries or damage

Flooding kills 11, displaces hundreds in northern Nigeria

Isaac hammers Haiti, delays US Republican convention

ICE WORLD
U.S. AFRICOM wants more guard partnerships

South Sudan's military chief Paulino Matip dies

Kenyan, Ugandan troops battle al-Shabaab

S.Africa police say mine killings were self-defence; 34 dead

ICE WORLD
Man mistakes son for monkey, shoots him dead

More Clues About Why Chimps and Humans Are Genetically Different

More sophisticated wiring, not just bigger brain, helped humans evolve beyond chimps

Once again with feeling: Australian science tugs heart-strings




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement