News / Science & Technology

    Reports Raise Alarm About Sea Level Rise

    File - An Adelie penguin stands atop a block of melting ice near the French station at Dumont d’Urville in East Antarctica Jan. 23, 2010.
    File - An Adelie penguin stands atop a block of melting ice near the French station at Dumont d’Urville in East Antarctica Jan. 23, 2010.

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    There were two worrying reports about sea level rise today.
     
    First, scientists in Europe said that Antarctica is losing up to 176 billion tons of ice every year, based on data collected by the Cryosat spacecraft.
     
    The rate of loss during 2010 to 2013 was double that from the last time a survey was done from 2005 to 2010.
     
    The resulting water, scientists said, could raise sea levels up to .43 mm every year.
     
    The findings were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
     
    In another development, NASA and scientists at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) said canyons buried under Greenland’s ice are deeper and longer than previously thought, which could mean more sea level rise as the ice in them melts.
     
    "The glaciers of Greenland are likely to retreat faster and farther inland than anticipated, and for much longer, according to this very different topography we have discovered,” said Mathieu Morlighem, a UCI associate project scientist who is lead author of the new research paper in a statement.
     
    While ice melt in Greenland has accelerated in recent decades, older models predicted that the ice would retreat to higher, more stable ground, slowing the melt.
     
    Morlighem's discovery shows that because of the unexpected depth and length of the canyons, it will be longer before the ice melt slows.
     
    Using radar penetrating radar, Morlighem and his team showed that Greenland’s southern coastline is serrated with “more than 100 canyons beneath glaciers that empty into the ocean.”
     
    Some of the canyons are below sea level up to 100 kilometers inland.
     
    Co-author Eric Rignot of UCI and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement that studies like this “illustrate clearly the globe’s ice sheets will contribute far more to sea level rise than current projections show.”
     
    Rignot and his team also released a study last week that said ice melt in western Antarctica was “unstoppable.”
     
    The results were published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

    Here's a video about the Greenland canyons:
     

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    Comments
         
    by: steven ward from: jackson, tn
    May 21, 2014 4:45 PM
    Agree with the spirit of this article but has someone missed some figures? 1 standard inch is 25.4 mm. If the sea were to rise .43 mm, this would convert to .43/25.4 or 0.017 inch. This would be about the equivalent of 1/64 inch. Did you mean 43 mm?

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