We know little about the behaviour of ice sheets.
© Getty Images
Bleak forecast for sea level in 2100.
Sea level could rise by up to 30 centimetres over the next century, a new estimate predicts. That’s almost twice as much as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected last year.
"My grandchildren will almost certainly be affected," says Mark Meier of the University of Colorado, Boulder, who made the revised estimate. Such a rise could push shorelines back by 30 metres, he said, flooding coasts and submerging islands.
Cost-cutting and political change over the past 20 years have closed many vital monitoring stations, for example in remote areas of Russia and Canada, leaving researchers scrabbling for data. The accuracy of both forecasts remains moot.
Climate monitoring "will never be as good as we had or as good as we want", said Mark Serreze, also of the University of Colorado. Pieces of the Antarctic ice shelf the size of Rhode Island have splintered and disappeared over the past 50 years, he told the meeting. This allows glaciers to dump more melt into the ocean.
Whether greenhouse-gas emissions are to blame for the thaw is unclear. But no one is ruling it out. "Ice shelves have retreated and advanced in the past," explained Colorado’s Ted Scambos. We might have passed some threshold that means there’s no going back this time. "But I wouldn’t want to say yes or no on that," he cautioned.
Monitoring with satellites and planes will hopefully plug some knowledge gaps. Keith Echelmeyer of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks has fitted his light aircraft with a laser altimeter and a global positioning system. Comparing measurements of ground level with old topography maps can reveal changes due to melting.
SARA ABDULLA | © Nature News Service
Satellites reveal bird habitat loss in California
28.03.2017 | Duke University
Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere
27.03.2017 | CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences