News

    NASA Scientists See Hastened Arctic Warming

    Recent satellite data from the U.S. Space agency NASA indicate that sea ice in the Arctic and Greenland is melting at a faster rate than previously projected.  VOA's Paul Sisco has the story.

    Climate scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, outside Washington, say the Arctic Ocean could be mostly ice free in late summer 2013. 

    "The sea ice is decreasing faster than all the models predicted," says Jay Zwally, the ice satellite project scientist at NASA Goddard, "We not only have the warming of the atmosphere, we have a warming of the ocean that is affecting this.  It has been surprising to everybody, this decrease in area. This is a marked departure, and this is suggesting to us that maybe we are getting at this tipping point."

    "If you push something like a glass to a certain point, and leave go, it will come back; but if you push it too far, past a tipping point, then it is gone," he explains.  "Now what is happening in the Arctic Ocean is the sea ice is getting thinner; it is decreasing in area.  This opens up the ocean to more heating from the sun, so it is very likely that the Arctic Sea ice is now at this tipping point, where even if the climate doesn't warm any more, stays as it is, most of the sea ice will decrease and disappear at the end of the summer."

    "Up through 2006, in September we've been losing ice at the rate of a little more than nine percent per decade,” says Mark Serreze, a senior researcher at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. “That's equivalent to about 100,000 square kilometers per year, which is quite a bit. What's happened in 2007 has just sent an exclamation point to this."

    This satellite image from NASA shows the average sea ice in the Arctic over the last 30 years. The green area indicates the melt at the end of last summer.

    Zwally says there is clear indication that the remaining is thinning. "The key thing is that this area that is remaining is now thinner," he said. "There used to be a lot of ice here that was three- four, five, six meters thick, and most of that is gone."

    All climate models have variability and the possibility that melting trends may lead to results less severe than predicted.

    "The other possibility is that it could be worse than the models predict and this is an example, a specific example of the sea ice in the Arctic where what is happening, what we see with the satellite is actually worse than the models predicted," he adds, and he says those models are supported by ground based observations and measurements.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora