Australian news, and some related international items

Not only at the Poles, but also mountain glaciers, are melting faster than ever.

Scotsman 28th May 2021 Richard Dixon: The last few weeks have seen several new studies yielding
new insights into the role and future of ice sheets and glaciers. Last
month, the seasonal sea ice in the Arctic covered almost one million square
kilometres less than the long-term average, making it the sixth-lowest ice
cover ever recorded.

The poles are among the places feeling the heat of
climate change most rapidly. In March, the world was 0.88C above the
long-term average, but parts of the South Pole and all of the North Pole
were between 2 and 4C warmer. Recently, locations in Alaska were officially
reclassified from “sub-Arctic” to “warm summer continental”, based
on the upward trend of yearly average temperatures.

Last week, a studyconcluded that the Greenland ice sheet is already melting sufficiently to
raise global sea levels by one or two metres. If it all went, sea levels
would be seven metres higher.

Another study found that the massive Thwaites
Glacier in Antarctica is melting faster than previously thought. The
picture across the region is confusing because warmer seas mean the ice
sheets are melting, but they also mean there is more new snow falling,
replenishing the ice from the top. So, the ice sheets can be feeding tens
of billions of tonnes of water into the ocean a year, while at the same
time seeming to contain about the same amount of ice.

Despite promises to
keep the global temperature rise well below 2C and even to try for 1.5C,
the world is on track for a potential 3C rise by 2100. A new study suggests
that the tactic some governments are backing – to go over 2C but then
come back down again – would likely create irreversible ice loss in the
Antarctic, even if it worked. But ice is not only found at the poles,
another study finds that mountain glaciers are melting faster even than the
Antarctic ice, adding billions of tonnes of water to the oceans every year.


May 31, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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