Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
Is The Ice At The South Pole Melting
by Staff Writers
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Nov 02, 2010


It has long been known that the Pacific El Nino climate phenomenon and the snowfall in Antarctica are linked.

The change in the ice mass covering Antarctica is a critical factor in global climate events. Scientists at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences have now found that the year by year mass variations in the western Antarctic are mainly attributable to fluctuations in precipitation, which are controlled significantly by the climate phenomenon El Nino.

They examined the GFZ data of the German-American satellite mission GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment). The investigation showed significant regional differences in the western coastal area of the South Pole area.

Two areas in Antarctica are of particular interest because of their potential sensitivity to global climate change: the Antarctic Peninsula, which is currently experiencing a warming exceeding the global mean and the disappearance of large ice shelf areas, and the Amundsen Sector of West Antarctica, where currently the largest flow rates and mass loss of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is occurring.

For some glaciers the ice thickness is decreasing rapidly, and glaciers and ice streams are notably retreating back into the interior. With 0.3 millimeters per year, both regions are currently contributing considerably to the global sea level change of about three millimeters per year.

In the study, the mass balance of both regions is reevaluated from gravity data of the satellite mission GRACE. As a result, the estimates were lower than those of conventional mass balance methods.

"With the GRACE time series, it was for the first time possible to observe how the large-scale ice mass varies in the two areas due to fluctuations in rainfall from year to year," said the GFZ scientists Ingo Sasgen.

It has long been known that the Pacific El Nino climate phenomenon and the snowfall in Antarctica are linked. The complementary piece to the warm phase El Nino, the cold phase known as La Nina, also affects the Antarctic climate: "The cooler La Nina years lead to a strong low pressure area over the Amundsen Sea, which favors heavy rainfall along the Antarctic Peninsula - the ice mass is increasing there.

In contrast, the Amundsen area is dominated by dry air from the interior during this time. El Nino years with their warm phase lead to precisely the opposite pattern: reduced rainfall and mass loss in the Antarctic Peninsula, and an increase in the Amundsen Sectorfield, respectively" explains Professor Maik Thomas, head of the section "Earth System Modelling" at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (Helmholtz Association).

The recording of the entire ice mass of the South Pole and its variations is a central task in climate research and still raises many unanswered questions. In principle, the study could show that the continuous gravity data of the GRACE satellite mission contain another important medium-term climate signal.

Sasgen, I. Dobson, H., Martinec, Z. and Thomas, M., "Satellite Gravimetry Observation of Antarctic Snow Accumulation Related to ENSO," Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2010), doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.09 .015.

.


Related Links
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
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
India makes first expedition to South Pole
New Delhi (AFP) Oct 30, 2010
India will kick off its first scientific expedition to the South Pole on Monday to analyse environmental changes in the frozen continent over the past 1,000 years, the mission leader said Saturday. Rasik Ravindra, head of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, is to lead a team of seven Indian scientists on the 40-day expedition from an Indian research base in the Antarctic to ... read more


ICE WORLD
Moon Express Enters $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition

Dead Spacecraft Walking

Surviving Lunar Dangers

NASA Awards Contract To Team FREDNET Google Lunar X PRIZE Contender

ICE WORLD
Mars Volcanic Deposit Tells Of Warm And Wet Environment

Opportunity Keeps On Driving To Endeavour Crater

Ancient Mars Was Wet, Cozy And Life Friendly

NASA Trapped Mars Rover Finds Evidence of Subsurface Water

ICE WORLD
The Fading Final Frontier

Astronauts4Hire Offers Limited Time High Profile Sponsorship Special

Pioneering Science And The D1 Spacelab Mission

Interstellar Voyage Continues With New Project Manager

ICE WORLD
China Goes To Mars

China says manned space station possible around 2020

China Kicks Off Manned Space Station Program

NASA chief says pleased with 'comprehensive' China visit

ICE WORLD
Progress Docks On Auto

Cargo vessel links up with ISS after auto-docking problem

NASA Seeks More Proposals On Commercial Crew Development

EU mulls opening ISS to more countries

ICE WORLD
Ariane 5 Lofts Dual Birds

Payload Preparations Underway For Fifth Ariane 5 2010 Mission

Sea Launch Company Emerges From Chapter 11

Ariane 5 Rolls Out For Dual Bird Launch

ICE WORLD
e2v To Develop Image Sensors For PLATO Exoplanet Mission

Solar Systems Like Ours May Be Common

Astronomer Greg Laughlin To Talk About Earth-Like Planets

NASA Survey Suggests Earth-Sized Planets are Common

ICE WORLD
Organic Solvent Helps Catalyst Recycling Creates New Nanomedicines

Amazon's 3G Kindle leaps 'Great Firewall of China'

Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting Delivers High-Definition

US, Japan to diversify sources of rare earths: Japan FM




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