FAQs

We know that ice flow tends to move faster the closer they get to the ocean. Why is ice flow velocity faster near the ice front?

Asked by MessiHe A great question! When we look at most glaciers and ice sheets, the velocity is higher at the marine-terminating snout. So what is going on? There are several factors at play here. Firstly, if the glacier is floating at its terminus, then there is zero friction or basal drag to slow down …

We know that ice flow tends to move faster the closer they get to the ocean. Why is ice flow velocity faster near the ice front? Read More »

Is the pinning point of the Thwaites glacier subject to release, and what does this mean for future shelf disintegration?

Hi John, Great question! A 2021 study on the Thwaites glacier by Wild et al. suggests that the Thwaites pinning point will detach from the sea bed and reach floatation within the next decade, which has some serious implications for the Eastern Ice Shelf, and in turn, the whole Thwaites Glacier. They suggest that the …

Is the pinning point of the Thwaites glacier subject to release, and what does this mean for future shelf disintegration? Read More »

If Roman lead has been found around 400m deep in the Greenland ice core, does that mean that the Earth has been cooling for the past 2,000 years?

Question:  I read somewhere that lead deposits from Roman times (approx 2,000 years ago) have been discovered in ice cores approx 400 metres below the current ice surface in Greenland. As a non-scientific person, I am asking a very basic question: if the above information is correct, then that suggests that around 400 metres of …

If Roman lead has been found around 400m deep in the Greenland ice core, does that mean that the Earth has been cooling for the past 2,000 years? Read More »

How is Antarctica melting?

Question: My name is Alexander Chladzynski, I am 11 and curious about many things. For a school project I am doing it on how Antarctica is melting. It would be awesome if you could give me some facts about Antarctica. Great question Alexander, the majority of ice melt in Antarctica is around the edges of …

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What are Ellipsoidal Basins?

Question: I’m teaching A-level Glaciation, and we have to talk about Ice Sheets and the landforms that they create and the one that is talked about often is an Ellipsoidal Basins especially related to the Laurentide Ice Sheet and Minnesota . I was wondering if you have any diagrams or simple explanation to explain the …

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What does it mean when the Earth’s temperature has risen by 1 degree, in respect to what?

Hi Dennis, This is a really good question and it is not always clear in articles when they mention different amounts of warming. Typically, when articles say this, they refer to warming since the industrial period. The IPCC quantify amounts of warming relative to the period between 1850-1900 as this is when we saw the …

What does it mean when the Earth’s temperature has risen by 1 degree, in respect to what? Read More »

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