Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




ICE WORLD
Summer melt season is getting longer on the Antarctic Peninsula
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Apr 01, 2013


To build up a more complete picture across the whole peninsula, the team (funded by the European Union's ice2sea programme) also analysed satellite data collected by an instrument called a scatterometer. Using microwave reflections from the ice sheet surface, the scatterometer was able to detect the presence of meltwater.

New research from the Antarctic Peninsula shows that the summer melt season has been getting longer over the last 60 years. Increased summer melting has been linked to the rapid break-up of ice shelves in the area and rising sea level.

The Antarctic Peninsula - a mountainous region extending northwards towards South America - is warming much faster than the rest of Antarctica. Temperatures have risen by up to 3C since the 1950s - three times more than the global average.

This is a result of a strengthening of local westerly winds, causing warmer air from the sea to be pushed up and over the peninsula. In contrast to much of the rest of Antarctica, summer temperatures are high enough for snow to melt.

This summer melting may have important effects. Meltwater may enlarge cracks in floating ice shelves which can contribute to their retreat or collapse. As a result, the speed at which glaciers flow towards the sea will be increased. Also, melting and refreezing causes snow layers to become thinner and more dense, affecting the height of the snow surface above sea level. Scientists need to know this so they can interpret satellite data correctly.

Dr Nick Barrand, who carried out the research while working for the British Antarctic Survey, led an analysis of data from 30 weather stations on the peninsula. "We found a significant increase in the length of the melting season at most of the stations with the longest temperature records" he says. "At one station the average length of the melt season almost doubled between 1948 and 2011."

To build up a more complete picture across the whole peninsula, the team (funded by the European Union's ice2sea programme) also analysed satellite data collected by an instrument called a scatterometer. Using microwave reflections from the ice sheet surface, the scatterometer was able to detect the presence of meltwater.

The team were able to produce maps of how the melt season varied from 1999 to 2009, and showed that several major ice shelf breakup events coincided with longer than usual melt seasons. This supports the theory that enlargement of cracks by meltwater is the main mechanism for ice shelf weakening and collapse.

The researchers also compared data from both the satellite and weather stations with the output of a state-of-the-art regional climate model.

Dr Barrand, who now works at the University of Birmingham, says, "We found that the model was very good at reproducing the pattern and timing of the melt, and changes in melting between years. This increases confidence in the use of climate models to predict future changes to snow and ice cover in the Antarctic Peninsula."

Trends in Antarctic Peninsula surface melting conditions from observations and regional climate modeling will be officially published in the Journal of Geophysical Research this week.

.


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
The long winter ahead
Paris (ESA) Mar 26, 2013
Secluded from civilisation and living in a white desert, the crew at the Concordia research base in Antarctica have settled in to their home and are ready for the cold, long winter ahead. After a period of adaptation to the sub-zero temperatures and high altitude on the Antarctic plateau, the base was prepared for three-quarters of a year of self-sufficient running. Food, fuel and equipmen ... read more


ICE WORLD
Shellfish gone near damaged nuke plant

Hopes fade in search for survivors of Tibet landslide

Half of Indonesians at risk of landslides: official

China mine blast kills 28: state media

ICE WORLD
CO2 could produce valuable chemical cheaply

Catalyst in a teacup: New approach to chemical reduction

Lasers could yield particle research tool

Paint-on plastic electronics: Aligning polymers for high performance

ICE WORLD
Outside View: Transboundary rivers treaty

Scientists confirm first two-headed bull shark

Predictions of climate impacts on fisheries can be a mirage

Researchers Issue Forecast for 'Moderate' New England Red Tide in 2013

ICE WORLD
Arctic 'greening' seen through global warming

China plans more Antarctica research sites

Summer melt season is getting longer on the Antarctic Peninsula

The long winter ahead

ICE WORLD
Pig wasting syndrome costing farmers millions

US regulators under fire over bee-toxic pesticides

The latest genomic studies of wheat sheds new light on crop adaptation and domestication

Swiss baby formula 'adulterated by Chinese partner'

ICE WORLD
US thanks Japan for help with tsunami debris

Strong quake kills one, injures 86 in Taiwan

Iceland sees unusual seismic activity at Hekla volcano

Huge and widespread volcanic eruptions triggered the end-Triassic extinction

ICE WORLD
Nigerian Easter day military raid leaves 15 dead

Obama to meet African leaders Thursday

S.Africa opposition wants troops out of Central Africa

S.African troops alarmed over killing child soldiers in C. Africa

ICE WORLD
First evidence of Neanderthal/human mix

Urban vegetation deters crime in Philadelphia

Patents said threat to 'genomic liberty'

'End of Men'? Not Even Close, Says UC San Diego Report on Gender in the Professions




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