04 May 2012:
Greenland Glaciers Moving
More Slowly Than Previous Estimates
A new U.S. study says that Greenland’s glaciers are sliding into the sea more slowly than previously estimated
, a finding that may indicate future sea level rise will not be as high as some projected worst-case scenarios. Using satellite data to track changes to 200 outlet glaciers from 2000 to 2011, a team of scientists calculated that Greenland’s glaciers accelerated by an average of 30 percent during the decade — a significant amount but not as rapidly as feared. In an earlier study, scientists calculated that glacial flow would increase by 100 percent between 2000 and 2010, and then stabilize at the higher speed, contributing as much as 19 inches to global sea level rise by the end of the century. According to the new study, published in the journal Science
, the glaciers are expected to continue gaining speed in the coming decades, possibly contributing four inches to sea level rise by 2100. The researchers cautioned, however, that a 10-year study is too short to make any conclusions on long-term behavior. “So there still may be future events — tipping points — that could cause large increases in glacier speed to continue,” said Ian Howat, an assistant professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University and co-author of the study.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.