Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Ice loss in 2016: A year in review
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Dec 29, 2016

Prospects for Irish explorer Circle Oil dwindle
Cork, Ireland (UPI) Dec 29, 2016 - Irish exploration company Circle Oil said its listing on the London stock exchange will be canceled by the end of the week amid financial strains.

"The company's financial position remains under significant pressure," it said in a statement.

The company in March embarked on a strategic review, with a potential sale offering or merger with a third party among the options. By June, the company suspended its shares on the London exchange after its own strategy review found a debt load exceeded $75 million.

When oil prices were holding above $100 per barrel more than two years ago, the company said it was "very pleased" with its prospects in Morocco in particular. Elsewhere in the region, however, the company said irregular payment schedules from its clients in Egypt made covering its short-term debt obligations difficult at best.

In its latest statement, the company said it could draw down its debt load, however, if the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. comes forward with payments by the end of January.

Several international oil and gas companies were hobbled by the downturn in crude oil prices, with spending cuts and headcount reductions commonplace during the start of the year. Circle Oil said its strategic review process was ongoing.

Company directors early this year warned it may be likely that equity holders will get no value from whatever emerges from the review process.

It was a record year for ice. The theme was scarcity. There's less ice on Earth than there has been in some time. Ice sheets are shrinking, glaciers are melting, sea ice is receding.

If there is a silver lining, it is that humans are more aware of these trends than they were five or 10 years ago. In 2016, scientists continued to bolster technologies used to track and measure the movement of Earth's polar ice. Researchers improved models designed to tease out the intricate relationships between climate change, ice sheets, ocean currents, sea levels and a range of ecological systems.

The South Pole

In Antarctica, the focus has been on West Antarctica and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. As a number of new studies showed, glaciers in West Antarctica continue to melt at an accelerating rate. Scientists believe warm ocean currents and rising air temperatures are weakening glaciers from the top and the bottom.

One study found evidence of inland rifting, which suggests the frailties of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet aren't isolated on the coast. Another found glaciers are shedding mass at record rates.

Observations by scientists with the British Antarctic Survey suggest glacial retreat in West Antarctica dates back to the 1940s. Satellite data showed glaciers have been thinning for several decades.

The North Pole

While scientists in the Southern Hemisphere tend to focus on glaciers, studies in the Arctic mostly focus on sea ice. Like glaciers in Antarctica, sea ice surrounding the North Pole is in retreat. The coverage of ice across the Arctic ebbs and flows with the seasons. Generally -- and logically -- there's more ice in the winter and less ice in the summer. This year, both the highs and lows were lower than ever before.

Seven of the 12 months in 2016 set new record lows for average sea ice extent. The most recent example: the average extent in November 2016 was smaller than all average November extents since 1981. The summer and winter extent either matched or set new record lows.

Want to know exactly how you're contributing to sea ice lows? One group of scientists calculated how individual carbon footprints contribute to sea ice melting.

Though glaciers in Antarctica are most relevant to sea level change, there are some glaciers in the Arctic -- in Greenland -- and they're melting, too. Together, the sea ice and glacier measurements collected in the Arctic suggest a "new normal" is settling into place. In other words, climate change in the Arctic and the consequential ecological shifts have accelerated past the point of no return -- at least for the foreseeable future.

Predicting the future

The consensus among scientists is that man-made carbon emissions have a sizable warming effect on Earth's atmosphere and climate. This larger reality -- the global carbon cycle and its climatological impacts -- consists of thousands of inputs and outputs, interrelated by specific cycles. Predicting how larger atmospheric carbon levels will affect Earth's many cycles and systems -- whether meteorological, oceanic, ecological -- is the focus of today's climate scientists.

One way to understand how carbon levels will influence future systems is studying how carbon influenced Earth's systems in the past. Records of Earth's ancient climate can be found in sediment and ice samples. Researchers recently set out to find Earth's oldest ice samples in Antarctica, continuing the effort to predict the future by understanding Earth's past.

Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Arctic lakes thawing earlier each year
Southampton, UK (SPX) Dec 22, 2016
Scientists from the University of Southampton have found Arctic lakes, covered with ice during the winter months, are melting earlier each spring. The team, who monitored 13,300 lakes using satellite imagery, have shown that on average ice is breaking up one day earlier per year, based on a 14-year period between 2000 and 2013. Their findings are published in the Nature journal Scientific ... read more

Tech show looks beyond 'smart,' to new 'realities'

'Passengers' and the real-life science of deep space travel

NASA Readies for Major Orion Milestones in 2017

India achieves advances multiple space systems in 2016

Preparing to Plug Into NASA SLS Fuel Tank

New round of wind tunnel tests underway for bigger SLS version

United Launch Alliance launches EchoStar XIX satellite

Ultra-Cold Storage - Liquid Hydrogen may be Fuel of the Future

Small Troughs Growing on Mars May Become 'Spiders'

All eyes on Trump over Mars

Opportunity performs several drives to ancient gully

Full go-ahead for building ExoMars 2020

Chinese missile giant seeks 20% of a satellite market

China-made satellites in high demand

Space exploration plans unveiled

China launches 4th data relay satellite

Airbus DS and Energia eye new medium-class satellite platform

OneWeb announces key funding form SoftBank Group and other investors

Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development

SoftBank delivers first $1 bn of Trump pledge, to space firm

Scientists create tiny laser using silver nanoparticles

Divide and conquer pattern searching

Scientists hope to make concrete tougher by studying its defects

The hidden inferno inside your laser pointer

The blob can learn and teach

Searching a sea of 'noise' to find exoplanets - using only data as a guide

Microlensing Study Suggests Most Common Outer Planets Likely Neptune-mass

Exciting new creatures discovered on ocean floor

Exploring Pluto and the Wild Back Yonder

Juno Captures Jupiter 'Pearl'

Juno Mission Prepares for December 11 Jupiter Flyby

Research Offers Clues About the Timing of Jupiter's Formation

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

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. 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