Sea level rise

New paper: Millan et al. 2022: a new estimate of global glacier ice volume and ice velocity

An interesting new paper has just been published in Nature Geoscience by Romain Millan, Jeremie Mouginot, Antoine Rabatel and Mathieu Morligheim on the velocity and thickness of the world’s glaciers. They make a revised estimate of global glacier ice volume. They aren’t looking at ice in the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets, just glaciers worldwide. …

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What does COP26 mean for global glacier and ice sheet change?

Earth’s glaciers are shrinking at an alarming rate. Each year they are losing more mass than is being replenished in each accumulation season.28 trillion tonnes of ice was lost from 1994 to 2017, and rates have risen by 57% since the 1990s. At present, global ice volume is shrinking at a rate of 267±16 Gt/year, …

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What is the ice volume of Thwaites Glacier?

Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is currently the focus of a major scientific campaign. Why is Thwaites Glacier of so much interest, however? How much ice is there, and how much would sea levels rise if it all melted? Thwaites Glacier is roughly the size of UK (176 x103 km2). The glacier terminus is nearly …

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The world’s mountain ‘water towers’ are melting, putting 1.9 billion people at risk

Bethan Davies, Royal Holloway The year 2019 concludes a decade of exceptional heat, and is on track to be the second or third warmest year on record. While the global average temperature teeters on 1.1°C above the pre-industrial record, the world’s glaciers are in stark retreat. In high mountain areas, the steady trickle of melting …

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Choosing the future of Antarctica

In a new article in the journal Nature, Stephen Rintoul and colleagues present two very different visions of Antarctica’s future, from the perspective of an observer looking back from 2070. In one vision, humanity continues to exploit Earth’s natural resources (such as fossils fuels) and does little to protect the environment, and in the other, …

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Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2017

A new paper with a whole host of authors has just been published in Nature (IMBIE Team, 2018). It provides a new estimate of mass balance of the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last 25 years, the longest and most thorough estimate of this to date. This article argues that the Antarctic Peninsula, the …

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The Larsen C Ice Shelf growing rift

Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves | Ice shelf collapse on the Antarctic Peninsula | Rifting on Larsen C | Impact of calving the large iceberg | Sea level rise following ice-shelf collapse | References | Comments | Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves The Antarctic Peninsula is fringed by floating ice shelves. They are floating extensions of the …

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The Global Last Glacial Maximum

Around 27,000 years ago, ice sheets reached their maximum across the world, after a period of global cooling caused by variations in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. There was a massive ice sheet in North America (the Laurentide Ice Sheet)[1, 2], a large Eurasian Ice Sheet covering Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia as well as …

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Will we enter another ice age?

There are a number of web and news articles around surrounding the question of whether or not we will enter another ice age. Many of these questions arise from the idea that a collapse or significant melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet will produce enough fresh water to shut down the global thermohaline circulation, dropping …

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Is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsing?

Marine ice sheet instability The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is the world’s most vulnerable ice sheet. This is because it is grounded below sea level, and marine ice sheets such as these are susceptible to rapid melting at their base. Fast-flowing ice streams draining the WAIS (Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier in particular) …

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