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> Rapid Glacier Meltdown, Could Signal Faster Rise in Ocean Levels
Shankar Vedantam


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Posted: Feb 17 2006, 03:52 PM
Quote Post
Glacier Melt Could Signal Faster Rise in Ocean Levels
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...1601292_pf.html

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 17, 2006; A01


Greenland's glaciers are melting into the sea twice as fast as previously believed, the result of a warming trend that renders obsolete predictions of how quickly Earth's oceans will rise over the next century, scientists said yesterday.

The new data come from satellite imagery and give fresh urgency to worries about the role of human activity in global warming. The Greenland data are mirrored by findings from Bolivia to the Himalayas, scientists said, noting that rising sea levels threaten widespread flooding and severe storm damage in low-lying areas worldwide.

The scientists said they do not yet understand the precise mechanism causing glaciers to flow and melt more rapidly, but they said the changes in Greenland were unambiguous -- and accelerating: In 1996, the amount of water produced by melting ice in Greenland was about 90 times the amount consumed by Los Angeles in a year. Last year, the melted ice amounted to 225 times the volume of water that city uses annually.

"We are witnessing enormous changes, and it will take some time before we understand how it happened, although it is clearly a result of warming around the glaciers," said Eric Rignot, a scientist at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The Greenland study is the latest of several in recent months that have found evidence that rising temperatures are affecting not only Earth's ice sheets but also such things as plant and animal habitats, coral reefs' health, hurricane severity, droughts, and globe-girdling currents that drive regional climates.

The ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are among the largest reservoirs of fresh water on Earth, and their fate is expected to be a major factor in determining how much the oceans will rise. Rignot and University of Kansas scientist Pannir Kanagaratnam, who published their findings yesterday in the journal Science, declined to guess how much the faster melting would raise sea levels but said current estimates of around 20 inches over the next century are probably too low.

While sea-level increases of a few feet may not sound like very much, they could have profound consequences on flood-prone countries such as Bangladesh and trigger severe weather around the world.

"The implications are global," said Julian Dowdeswell, a glacier expert at the University of Cambridge in England who reviewed the new paper for Science. "We are not talking about walking along the sea front on a nice summer day, we are talking of the worst storm settings, the biggest storm surges . . . you are upping the probability major storms will take place."

The study also highlights how seemingly small changes in temperature can have extensive effects. Where glaciers in Greenland were once traveling around four miles per year, they are now moving twice as fast. While it is possible that increased precipitation in northern Greenland is somehow compensating for the melting in the south, the scientists said that is unlikely.

There are multiple ways warming might be causing glaciers to accelerate. The scientists said increased temperatures may loosen the grip that glaciers have on underlying bedrock, or melt away floating shelves along the shore that can hold ice in place.

Whatever the mechanism, the phenomenon seems widespread. At a news conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science at its annual meeting in St. Louis, glacier scientists Vladimir Aizen from the University of Idaho and Gino Casassa of Chile's Centro de Estudios Cientificos said they were seeing the same thing happen to glaciers in the Himalayas and South America.

"Glaciers have retreated systematically and in an accelerated fashion in the last few decades," Casassa said. One glacier that provided Bolivia with its only ski slope five years ago has splintered into three and cannot be used for skiing, the scientist added.

Rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers also raises concerns for the large portion of humankind that gets its fresh water from glacier-fed rivers in South Asia, Aizen noted.

Most climate scientists believe a major cause for Earth's warming climate is increased emissions of greenhouse gases as a result of burning fossil fuels, largely in the United States and other wealthy, industrialized nations such as those of western Europe but increasingly in rapidly developing nations such as China and India as well. Carbon dioxide and several other gases trap the sun's heat and raise atmospheric temperature.

"This study underscores the need to take swift, meaningful actions at home and abroad to address climate change," said Vicki Arroyo, director of policy analysis at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

The data highlight the lack of meaningful U.S. policy, she added: "This is the kind of study that should make people stay awake at night wondering what we're doing to the climate, how we're shaping the planet for future generations and, especially, what we can do about it."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company


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Posted: Feb 17 2006, 05:01 PM
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It's happening, it's unstoppable and it's going to happen quicker than everyone expects - we've all helped cause it.

We've got the situation that most of the planet is still in denial and those that have woken up are still to realize how much will HAVE to change and how quickly the changes will be forced upon us.

Sort out your survival plan now. Number one - drinking water, number two - defense against the mobs.




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Posted: Feb 17 2006, 07:39 PM
Quote Post
QUOTE
It's happening, it's unstoppable and it's going to happen quicker than everyone expects - we've all helped cause it

Yes, we all contributed to our own demise.

QUOTE
Sort out your survival plan now. Number one - drinking water, number two - defense against the mobs.

I agree.




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~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Posted: Feb 18 2006, 06:06 PM
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noticed how beach-front land-lots are up for sale!?

nono2.gif

buy the mountain!

rn.




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Posted: Feb 18 2006, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE
Climate change: On the edge - Greenland ice cap breaking up at twice the rate it was five years ago
says scientist Bush tried to gag
By Jim Hansen
17 February 2006
QUOTE
A satellite study of the Greenland ice cap shows that it is melting far faster than scientists had feared - twice as much ice is going into the sea as it was five years ago. The implications for rising sea levels - and climate change - could be dramatic.

Yet, a few weeks ago, when I - a Nasa climate scientist - tried to talk to the media about these issues following a lecture I had given calling for prompt reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases, the Nasa public affairs team - staffed by political appointees from the Bush administration - tried to stop me doing so. I was not happy with that, and I ignored the restrictions. The first line of Nasa's mission is to understand and protect the planet.

This new satellite data is a remarkable advance. We are seeing for the first time the detailed behaviour of the ice streams that are draining the Greenland ice sheet. They show that Greenland seems to be losing at least 200 cubic kilometres of ice a year. It is different from even two years ago, when people still said the ice sheet was in balance.

Hundreds of cubic kilometres sounds like a lot of ice. But this is just the beginning. Once a sheet starts to disintegrate, it can reach a tipping point beyond which break-up is explosively rapid. The issue is how close we are getting to that tipping point. The summer of 2005 broke all records for melting in Greenland. So we may be on the edge.

Our understanding of what is going on is very new. Today's forecasts of sea-level rise use climate models of the ice sheets that say they can only disintegrate over a thousand years or more. But we can now see that the models are almost worthless. They treat the ice sheets like a single block of ice that will slowly melt. But what is happening is much more dynamic.

Once the ice starts to melt at the surface, it forms lakes that empty down crevasses to the bottom of the ice. You get rivers of water underneath the ice. And the ice slides towards the ocean.

Our Nasa scientists have measured this in Greenland. And once these ice streams start moving, their influence stretches right to the interior of the ice sheet. Building an ice sheet takes a long time, because it is limited by snowfall. But destroying it can be explosively rapid.

How fast can this go? Right now, I think our best measure is what happened in the past. We know that, for instance, 14,000 years ago sea levels rose by 20m in 400 years - that is five metres in a century. This was towards the end of the last ice age, so there was more ice around. But, on the other hand, temperatures were not warming as fast as today.

How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today - which is what we expect later this century - sea levels were 25m higher. So that is what we can look forward to if we don't act soon. None of the current climate and ice models predict this. But I prefer the evidence from the Earth's history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.

It's hard to say what the world will be like if this happens. It would be another planet. You could imagine great armadas of icebergs breaking off Greenland and melting as they float south. And, of course, huge areas being flooded.

How long have we got? We have to stabilise emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree. That will be warmer than it has been for half a million years, and many things could become unstoppable. If we are to stop that, we cannot wait for new technologies like capturing emissions from burning coal. We have to act with what we have. This decade, that means focusing on energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy that do not burn carbon. We don't have much time left.

Jim Hansen, the director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, is President George Bush's top climate modeller. He was speaking to Fred Pearce

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article345926.ece




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"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Feb 18 2006, 09:29 PM
Quote Post
QUOTE
Global warming '30 times quicker than it used to be'
By Steve Connor
17 February 2006
QUOTE
Greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere 30 times faster than the time when the Earth experienced a previous episode of global warming.

A study comparing the rate at which carbon dioxide and methane are being emitted now, compared to 55 million years ago when global warming also occurred, has found dramatic differences in the speed of release.

James Zachos, professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said the speed of the present build-up of greenhouse gases is far greater than during the global warming after the demise of the dinosaurs.

"The emissions that caused this past episode of global warming probably lasted 10,000 years," Professor Zachos told the American Association for the Advancement of Science at a meeting in St Louis. "By burning fossil fuels, we are likely to emit the same amount over the next three centuries."

He warned that studies of global warming events in the geological past indicate the Earth's climate passes a threshold beyond which climate change accelerates with the help of positive feedbacks - vicious circles of warming.

Professor Zachos is a leading authority on the episode of global warming known as the palaeocene-eocene thermal maximum, when average global temperatures increased by up to 5C due to a massive release of carbon dioxide and methane.

His research into the deep ocean sediments suggests at this time about 4.5 billion tons of carbon entered the atmosphere over 10,000 years. This will be the similar amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from cars and industrial emissions over the next 300 years if present trends continue, he said.

Although carbon can be released suddenly and naturally into the atmosphere from volcanic activity, it takes many thousand of years for it to be removed permanently by natural processes. The ocean is capable of removing carbon, and quickly, but this natural capacity can be quickly overwhelmed, which is probably what happened 55 million years ago.

"It will take tens of thousands of years before atmospheric carbon dioxide comes down to pre-industrial levels," the professor said. "Even after humans stop burning fossil fuels, the effects will be long-lasting."

This new satellite data is a remarkable advance. We are seeing for the first time the detailed behaviour of the ice streams that are draining the Greenland ice sheet. They show that Greenland seems to be losing at least 200 cubic kilometres of ice a year. It is different from even two years ago, when people still said the ice sheet was in balance.

Hundreds of cubic kilometres sounds like a lot of ice. But this is just the beginning. Once a sheet starts to disintegrate, it can reach a tipping point beyond which break-up is explosively rapid. The issue is how close we are getting to that tipping point. The summer of 2005 broke all records for melting in Greenland. So we may be on the edge.

Our understanding of what is going on is very new. Today's forecasts of sea-level rise use climate models of the ice sheets that say they can only disintegrate over a thousand years or more. But we can now see that the models are almost worthless. They treat the ice sheets like a single block of ice that will slowly melt. But what is happening is much more dynamic.

Once the ice starts to melt at the surface, it forms lakes that empty down crevasses to the bottom of the ice. You get rivers of water underneath the ice. And the ice slides towards the ocean.

Our Nasa scientists have measured this in Greenland. And once these ice streams start moving, their influence stretches right to the interior of the ice sheet. Building an ice sheet takes a long time, because it is limited by snowfall. But destroying it can be explosively rapid.

How fast can this go? Right now, I think our best measure is what happened in the past. We know that, for instance, 14,000 years ago sea levels rose by 20m in 400 years - that is five metres in a century. This was towards the end of the last ice age, so there was more ice around. But, on the other hand, temperatures were not warming as fast as today.

How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today - which is what we expect later this century - sea levels were 25m higher. So that is what we can look forward to if we don't act soon. None of the current climate and ice models predict this. But I prefer the evidence from the Earth's history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.

It's hard to say what the world will be like if this happens. It would be another planet. You could imagine great armadas of icebergs breaking off Greenland and melting as they float south. And, of course, huge areas being flooded.

How long have we got? We have to stabilise emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree. That will be warmer than it has been for half a million years, and many things could become unstoppable. If we are to stop that, we cannot wait for new technologies like capturing emissions from burning coal. We have to act with what we have. This decade, that means focusing on energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy that do not burn carbon. We don't have much time left.

Jim Hansen, the director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, is President George Bush's top climate modeller. He was speaking to Fred Pearce.

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article345928.ece




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Feb 18 2006, 09:31 PM
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QUOTE
Sea levels likely to rise much faster than was predicted
By Steve connor, Science Editor in St Louis
17 February 2006
QUOTE
Global warming is causing the Greenland ice cap to disintegrate far faster than anyone predicted. A study of the region's massive ice sheet warns that sea levels may - as a consequence - rise more dramatically than expected.

Scientists have found that many of the huge glaciers of Greenland are moving at an accelerating rate - dumping twice as much ice into the sea than five years ago - indicating that the ice sheet is undergoing a potentially catastrophic breakup.

The implications of the research are dramatic given Greenland holds enough ice to raise global sea levels by up to 21ft, a disaster scenario that would result in the flooding of some of the world's major population centres, including all of Britain's city ports.

Satellite measurements of the entire land mass of Greenland show that the speed at which the glaciers are moving to the sea has increased significantly over the past 10 years with some glaciers moving three times faster than in the mid-1990s.

Scientists believe that computer models of how the Greenland ice sheet will react to global warming have seriously underestimated the threat posed by sea levels that could rise far more quickly than envisaged.

The latest study, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in St Louis, shows that rather than just melting relatively slowly, the ice sheet is showing all the signs of a mechanical break-up as glaciers slip ever faster into the ocean, aided by the "lubricant" of melt water forming at their base.

Eric Rignot, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said that computer models used by the UN's International Panel on Climate Change have not adequately taken into account the amount of ice falling into the sea from glacial movements.

Yet the satellite study shows that about two-thirds of the sea-level rise caused by the Greenland ice sheet is due to icebergs breaking off from fast-moving glaciers rather than simply the result of water running off from melting ice.

"In simple terms, the ice sheet is breaking up rather than melting. It's not a surprise in itself but it is a surprise to see the magnitude of the changes. These big glaciers seem to be accelerating, they seem to be going faster and faster to the sea," Dr Rignot said.

"This is not predicted by the current computer models. The fact is the glaciers of Greenland are evolving faster than we thought and the models have to be adjusted to catch up with these observations," he said.

The Greenland ice sheet covers an area of 1.7 million sq km - about the size of Mexico - and, in places, is up to 3km thick. It formed over thousands of years by the gradual accumulation of ice and snow but now its disintegration could occur in decades or centuries.

Over the past 20 years, the air temperature of Greenland has risen by 3C and computer models suggested it would take at least 1,000 years for the ice sheet to melt completely. But the latest study suggests that glaciers moving at an accelerating rate could bring about a much faster change.

"The behaviour of the glaciers that dump ice into the sea is the most important aspect of understanding how an ice sheet will evolve in a changing climate," Dr Rignot said. "It takes a long time to build and melt an ice sheet but glaciers can react quickly to temperature changes. Climate warming can work in different ways but, generally speaking, if you warm up the ice sheet, the glacier will flow faster," he said.

The ice "balance sheet" of Greenland is complex but - in simple terms - it depends on the amount of snow that falls, the amount of ice that melts as run-off and the amount of ice that falls directly into the sea in the form of icebergs "calving" from moving glaciers.

Satellites show that the glaciers in the south of Greenland are now moving much faster than they were 10 years ago. Scientists estimate that, in 1996, glaciers deposited about 50 cubic km of ice into the sea. In 2005 it had risen to 150 cubic km of ice.

Details of the latest study, published in the journal Science, show that Greenland now accounts for an increase in global sea levels of about 0.5 millimetres per year - compared to a total sea level rise of 3mm per year.

When previous studies of the ice balance are taken into account, the researchers calculated that the overall amount of ice dumped into the sea increased from 90 cubic km in 1996 to 224 cubic km in 2005.

Dr Rignot said that there are now signs that the more northerly glaciers of Greenland are beginning to adopt the pattern of movements seen by those in the south. "The southern half of Greenland is reacting to what we think is climate warming. The northern half is waiting, but I don't think it's going to take long," he said.

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article345927.ece




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Feb 18 2006, 09:49 PM
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While I was reading this post I recived a email from Brians Predictons , one of his dreams reads:
June 27th of 2006 is the last day to reverse the "runaway" effects of global warming......new ice age"

DragonWalkEmoticon3.gif sun.gif



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Posted: Feb 19 2006, 03:20 PM
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Aside from the rapid melting of ice the Arctic offers much greater pressure on global warming. There is a humungous amount of dead vegetation in the arctic regions which has not rotted due to the short time that it is thawed each year. As the thawed period increases a volume of carbon dioxide will be released which will make that released by humans seem puny.

We can expect a co2 "slug" that will trigger runaway greenhouse shortly.

Don't worry about rising sea levels - worry about food crop failure because this will happen first.




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Posted: Feb 19 2006, 05:07 PM
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QUOTE
Melting Bog May Lead To 'Ecological Landslide'
By Nic Fleming
Science Correspondent
The Telegraph - UK
8-11-5
QUOTE
A melting permafrost peat bog stretching across an area the size of France and Germany could unleash billions of tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, Russian scientists have warned.

The huge frozen region, covering around 360,000 square miles of western Siberia, is rapidly turning into a watery landscape of shallow lakes. Experts fear it could release huge quantities of methane trapped in the frozen peat.

The latest alert follows research by Sergei Kirpotin, a botanist from Tomsk State University in Russia, and Judith Marquand from Oxford University.

Mr Kirpotin told New Scientist magazine that the entire western Siberian sub-Arctic region had begun to melt in the last three or four years. He predicted an "ecological landslide that is probably irreversible and undoubtedly connected to climatic warming".

Western Siberia has warmed faster than almost anywhere on the planet, with average temperatures increasing by about 3C in the last 40 years.

The warming is believed to be due to a combination of man-made climate change, a cyclical atmospheric phenomenon known as the Arctic oscillation, and feedbacks caused by melting ice. As ice melts, it exposes bare ground and sea surface that absorb more solar heat than reflective white ice and snow.

Siberia's peat bogs formed around 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Since then they have been generating methane, most of which has been trapped in permafrost and deeper ice-like structures called clathrates.

Dr Larry Smith, an expert at the University of California at Los Angeles, has estimated that the west Siberian bog alone contains some 70 billion ton of methane - a quarter of all the methane stored on the land surface worldwide.

Scientists at the University of Alaska have found methane "hot spots" in eastern Siberia where the gas is bubbling from thawing permafrost so fast that it is preventing the surface from freezing, even in mid-winter.

Catherine Pearce, a climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: "It's very worrying. The release of these emissions is causing massive climate instability leading to extreme weather events, rising temperatures, the melting of the Arctic ice sheet, rising sea levels, droughts, heat waves and famine."

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005.




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QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Feb 19 2006, 05:12 PM
Quote Post
QUOTE
Warming hits 'tipping point'
Ian Sample, science correspondent
The Guardian
Thursday August 11, 2005
QUOTE
Siberia feels the heat: It's a frozen peat bog the size of France and Germany combined, contains billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas and, for the first time since the ice age, it is melting.

A vast expanse of western Sibera is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.

Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

It is a scenario climate scientists have feared since first identifying "tipping points" - delicate thresholds where a slight rise in the Earth's temperature can cause a dramatic change in the environment that itself triggers a far greater increase in global temperatures.

The discovery was made by Sergei Kirpotin at Tomsk State University in western Siberia and Judith Marquand at Oxford University and is reported in New Scientist today.

The researchers found that what was until recently a barren expanse of frozen peat is turning into a broken landscape of mud and lakes, some more than a kilometre across.

Dr Kirpotin told the magazine the situation was an "ecological landslide that is probably irreversible and is undoubtedly connected to climatic warming". He added that the thaw had probably begun in the past three or four years.

Climate scientists yesterday reacted with alarm to the finding, and warned that predictions of future global temperatures would have to be revised upwards.

"When you start messing around with these natural systems, you can end up in situations where it's unstoppable. There are no brakes you can apply," said David Viner, a senior scientist at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

"This is a big deal because you can't put the permafrost back once it's gone. The causal effect is human activity and it will ramp up temperatures even more than our emissions are doing."

In its last major report in 2001, the intergovernmental panel on climate change predicted a rise in global temperatures of 1.4C-5.8C between 1990 and 2100, but the estimate only takes account of global warming driven by known greenhouse gas emissions.

"These positive feedbacks with landmasses weren't known about then. They had no idea how much they would add to global warming," said Dr Viner.

Western Siberia is heating up faster than anywhere else in the world, having experienced a rise of some 3C in the past 40 years. Scientists are particularly concerned about the permafrost, because as it thaws, it reveals bare ground which warms up more quickly than ice and snow, and so accelerates the rate at which the permafrost thaws.

Siberia's peat bogs have been producing methane since they formed at the end of the last ice age, but most of the gas had been trapped in the permafrost. According to Larry Smith, a hydrologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, the west Siberian peat bog could hold some 70bn tonnes of methane, a quarter of all of the methane stored in the ground around the world.

The permafrost is likely to take many decades at least to thaw, so the methane locked within it will not be released into the atmosphere in one burst, said Stephen Sitch, a climate scientist at the Met Office's Hadley Centre in Exeter.

But calculations by Dr Sitch and his colleagues show that even if methane seeped from the permafrost over the next 100 years, it would add around 700m tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere each year, roughly the same amount that is released annually from the world's wetlands and agriculture.

It would effectively double atmospheric levels of the gas, leading to a 10% to 25% increase in global warming, he said.

Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, said the finding was a stark message to politicians to take concerted action on climate change. "We knew at some point we'd get these feedbacks happening that exacerbate global warming, but this could lead to a massive injection of greenhouse gases.

"If we don't take action very soon, we could unleash runaway global warming that will be beyond our control and it will lead to social, economic and environmental devastation worldwide," he said. "There's still time to take action, but not much.

"The assumption has been that we wouldn't see these kinds of changes until the world is a little warmer, but this suggests we're running out of time."

In May this year, another group of researchers reported signs that global warming was damaging the permafrost. Katey Walter of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, told a meeting of the Arctic Research Consortium of the US that her team had found methane hotspots in eastern Siberia. At the hotspots, methane was bubbling to the surface of the permafrost so quickly that it was preventing the surface from freezing over. [...]




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Anarchaeologist
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Posted: Mar 2 2006, 06:55 AM
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I don't know if this has been posted elsewhere here, but NASA has just released a computer simulated map of the massive flood event which caused dramatic climate changes 8,200 years ago.
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingat...upt_change.html


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Master Of His Domain
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Posted: Mar 5 2006, 07:53 PM
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Hey Tex, no... that has not been posted at the forum before. It probably deserves it's own thread.

Here's some more related info...

QUOTE
Antarctica Losing Ice, Contrary to Expectations
By Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
posted: 02 March 2006
QUOTE
Joining the growing list of places on this planet that are melting, Antarctica is losing some 36 cubic miles of ice every year, scientists said today.

For comparison, Los Angeles consumes roughly 1 cubic mile of fresh water a year.

The south polar region holds 90 percent of Earth's ice and 70 percent of the total fresh water on the planet, so any significant pace of melting there is important and could contribute to an already rising sea.

"This is the first study to indicate the total mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet is in significant decline," said Isabella Velicogna of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The study is detailed today in the online version of the journal Science.

Other studies have documented rapid melting, unprecedented in modern times, in Greenland and around the North Pole. And rapid melting of individual glaciers has been noted in Antarctica.

For now, the newly measured melting might seem like a small quantity. The loss of ice in Antarctica amounts to about 0.4 millimeters of global sea rise annually, with a margin of error of 0.2 millimeters, the study concludes. There are about 25 millimeters in an inch.

However, computer models run in 2001 predicted Antarctica would gain ice during the 21st century due to increased precipitation in a warming climate. But the new study, based on satellite measurements between 2002 and 2005, shows the opposite.

Antarctica is twice as large as Australia. The ice sheet, which covers about 98 percent of the continent, has an average thickness of about 6,500 feet-more than a mile.

http://www.livescience.com/environment/060...arctic_ice.html



And another report...

QUOTE
Melting Ice Caps Could Spell Disaster for Coastal Cities
By BILL BLAKEMORE
ABCNews.com
2 Mar 06
QUOTE
For the first time, scientists have confirmed Earth is melting at both ends, which could have disastrous effects for coastal cities and villages.

Antarctica has been called "a slumbering giant" by a climate scientist who predicts that if all the ice melted, sea levels would rise by 200 feet. Other scientists believe that such a thing won't happen, but new studies show that the slumbering giant has started to stir.

Melting at Both Ends Recent studies have confirmed that the North Pole and the South Pole have started melting.

Experts have long predicted that global warming would start to melt Greenland's two-mile-thick ice sheet, but they also thought the more massive ice sheet covering Antarctica would increase in the 21st century.

It seems they were wrong.

Two new studies find that despite the increasing snowfall that comes with global warming as a result of the increased moisture in the air, Antarctica's ice sheets are losing far more than the snow is adding.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, Earth's surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last century, with accelerated warming during the last two decades. Most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities through the buildup of greenhouse gases -- primarily carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Although the heat-trapping property of these gases is undisputed, uncertainties exist about exactly how Earth's climate responds to them.

"The warming ocean comes underneath the ice shelves and melts them from the bottom, and warmer air from the top melts them from the top," said NASA glaciologist Jay Zwally. "So they're thinning and eventually they get to a point where they go poof!"

Zwally explains that the ice shelves, which the Antarctic ice cap pushes out into the ocean, are responding more than they expected to Earth's warming air and water. If the melting speeds up to a rapid runaway process called a "collapse," coastal cities and villages could be in danger.

James Hansen, director of NASA's Earth Science Research, said that disaster could probably be avoided, but that it would require dramatically cutting emission outputs. If the proper actions aren't taken, Hansen said, the sea level could rise as much as 80 feet by the time today's children reach middle age.

"We now must choose between a serious problem that we can probably handle and, if we don't act soon, unmitigated disaster down the road," Hansen said.

Scientists looking at ice cores can now read Earth's temperatures from past millennia and match them to sea levels from those eras.

"Based on the history of the Earth, if we can keep the warming less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit, I think we can avoid disastrous ice sheet collapse," Hansen said.

Hansen and other scientists point out that a rise of at least 1 degree Fahrenheit -- and another few feet of sea level -- seem virtually certain to happen because of the carbon that mankind has already put in the atmosphere.

March 2, 2006

Copyright 2006 ABCNEWS.com

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article....990001&cid=2194




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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