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calendar   Wednesday - March 18, 2015

A Grain Of Salt For All That Water

Glacier Melting, Sea Levels To Rise 11 feet, We’re All Gonna Drown!!

According to Wikipedia, the surface area of all the oceans in the world combined is 139 million square miles.  11 feet is 0.002083333 miles, so raising sea levels the world over by 11 feet requires 289,583.33 cubic miles of water. Since water expands about 10% when it freezes, that much water requires 318,541.67 cubic miles of ice. Using the mean ice thickness of East Antarctica, 7300 ft, and rounding that to a convenient 1.5 miles (7920 ft), this leaves an ice square sheet a nominal 461 miles long on each side. This is a square equal to the distance from Chicago IL due south to beyond Waynesboro in southern Tennessee, east from there to Fayetville NC, and then north to a bit east of Jamestown NY. All that, a mile and a half thick.

image

Right. Next bit of info ... the sea ice around the polar continent turns out to be thicker than expected. Granted, only about 10% of all the circumferential ice has been measured at this point.

Antarctic ice thicker than previously thought, study finds

First of its kind robotic survey of underside of sea ice floes reveals denser ice fringing the continent

Groundbreaking 3D mapping of previously inaccessible areas of the Antarctic has found that the sea ice fringing the vast continent is thicker than previous thought.

Two expeditions to Antarctica by scientists from the UK, USA and Australia analysed an area of ice spanning 500,000 metres squared, using a robot known as SeaBed.

The survey discovered ice thickness average between 1.4m and 5.5m, with a maximum ice thickness of 16m. Scientists also discovered that 76% of the mapped ice was ‘deformed’ – meaning that huge slabs of ice have crashed into each other to create larger, denser bodies of ice.

Ok, perspective established, Science News updated. On to the daily FEAR NEWS story ...

Study raises concerns over big, rapidly thinning Antarctic glacier

(CNN)Scientists have raised concerns about a large, rapidly thinning glacier in Antarctica, warning it could contribute significantly to rising sea levels.

They say they’ve discovered two openings that could channel warm seawater to the base of the huge Totten Glacier and bring the threat of potentially disastrous melting.

The glacier is bigger and thinning faster than all the others in East Antarctica.

It contains enough ice to raise the global sea level by at least 11 feet (3.4 meters), according to researchers from the University of Texas at Austin who were among the authors of a new study published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Scientists had previously detected warm water on the seaward side of the glacier. But until now, they had found no evidence that it could threaten coastal ice.

“We now know there are avenues for the warmest waters in East Antarctica to access the most sensitive areas of Totten Glacier,” said Jamin Greenbaum, a University of Texas Ph.D. candidate and the lead author of the study.

Worries about other parts of Antarctica

The two gateways on the seafloor that lead to the base of the glacier offer an explanation for why Totten Glacier has been melting so fast.

Scientists have already warned about the consequences of melting ice in West Antarctica. NASA said last year that glacial retreat in some areas ”appears unstoppable.

The increase in sea levels that would be caused by the melting of all the ice in Totten Glacier is estimated to be roughly equivalent to the contribution from a collapse of the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Oh, and by the by ... this is the end of summer way down under. Whatever ice melting there is, is at it’s maximum right now. In about 5 weeks winter will set in, and everything will freeze right up again. Including the penguins. But until then, be afraid. Very, very afraid. Cuz we’re all gonna diiiiiiie!!!

PS - The Totten glacier is that big. Wiki says it has a drainage basin of 538,000 sq km, which is very close to that 461x461 mile square. (538,000sq km = 227,722 sq miles = 455.76x455.76 miles) It would have to melt completely. And not a drop refreeze anywhere else.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/18/2015 at 04:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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