Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Warming Temperatures Will Change Greenland’s Face

14.11.2012
CCNY scientist constructs fine-scale projections of how warming will alter the island
Global climate models abound. What is harder to pin down, however, is how a warmer global temperature might affect any specific region on Earth.

Dr. Marco Tedesco, associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at The City College of New York, and a colleague have made the global local. Using a regional climate model and the output of three global climate models, they can predict how different greenhouse gas scenarios would change the face of Greenland over the next century and how this would impact sea level rise.

The resulting fine-scale model gives a high-resolution picture of the island’s future. “We put Greenland under a microscope to see what accounts for melting and for ice mass changes in different regions,” said Professor Tedesco.

He and his colleague, Xavier Fettweis of the University of Liege, Belgium, reported their results online November 8 in “Environmental Research Letters.”

They compared two possible future CO2 scenarios: a concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere projected for the end of the century of 850 parts per million (ppm) versus a more aggressive projection of 1370 ppm. The first approximates the current rate of increase.

The Greenland ice sheet would lose more ice and snow to melting than it would accumulate in both scenarios. Basins on the southwest and north coasts would suffer the greatest losses. Temperatures would only have to increase by 0.6 to 2.16 degrees Celsius (1.8-3.9 ° F) to tip the balance into more loss than gain.

The new model shows how a melting would alter the topography of “one of the world’s refrigerators,” potentially affecting adjacent ocean circulation and salinity, and speeding further melting.

Though dramatic, Professor Tedesco said the predictions he reported might be too conservative. “They don’t take into account progressive effects of the changing elevations and topography and the acceleration of ice sheet movement.” These results, however, represent a step forward toward understanding the potential repercussions of warming temperatures; an improvement on models that give a much coarser view into the future, he added.

“Some areas will be 400 meters below the current elevation just because of melting. This might very well impact the speed and amount of ice that is flowing to the ocean. It would increase the rate of melting, because conditions get warmer at lower elevations” he noted. “Imagine an ice cream that is melting much faster in one area. This will change the shape of the ice mass over Greenland.”

Professor Marco Tedesco balances at the edge of a supraglacial lake. (Copyright M. Tedesco/WWF)

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Professor Tedesco will be attending the European Space Agency’s conference on Earth Observation and Cryosphere Science, November 13-16 in Frascati (Rome), Italy. http://congrexprojects.com/12c20

On the Web:
Cryocity Cryospheric Processes Laboratory @CityCollege
http://www.cryocity.org/research.html
Reference:
M. Tedesco and X. Fettweis, 21st century projections of surface mass balance changes for major drainage systems of the Greenland ice sheet, Environ. Res. Lett. 7 045405 Issue 4 (December 2012) Published online 8 November 2012.

Media Contact
Jessa Netting P | 212-650-7615 E | jnetting@ccny.cuny.edu

Jessa Netting | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www2.ccny.cuny.edu/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past
28.04.2017 | National Science Foundation

nachricht Citizen science campaign to aid disaster response
28.04.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>