Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet


The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Tuesday 23 February 2010


New data shows that ice-shelves are retreating in the southern section of the Antarctic Peninsula due to climate change, which can can cause glaciers to retreat and a rise in sea-levels if warming continues, threatening coastal communities and low-lying islands.

Research by the U.S. Geological Survey is the first to document that every ice-front in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula has been retreating overall from 1947 to 2009, with the most dramatic changes occurring since 1990. The USGS previously documented that the majority of ice fronts on the entire Peninsula have also retreated during the late 20th century and into the early 21st century.

The ice-shelves, which are attached to the continent and floating, hold in place the Antarctic ice-sheet that covers about 98% of the Antarctic continent. As they break off, it is easier for outlet glaciers and ice-streams to flow into the sea and raise it.

Full report in ScienceDaily.

Thursday 18 February 2010


The southern limit of permafrost is now 130 kilometres further north in the James Bay region than it was 50 years ago.

The average temperature in the area has increased 2 degrees Celsius in the last twenty years.

Researchers have found that ocean currents in the North Atlantic have changed to the extent that sub-tropical water is now reaching deep into Greenland's glaciers all year round, driving melting and probably triggering an accelerated loss of ice. Full report in ScienceDaily.

Sub-tropical heat is being rapidly transported to the glaciers--in months, not years.

Monday 8 February 2010


Climate-change is transforming the Arctic environment faster than expected and accelerating the disappearance of sea ice, reports the biggest-ever study of Canada's changing north, which involved more than 370 scientists from 27 countries. Collectively they spent 15 months, starting in June 2007, aboard a research vessel above the Arctic Circle, the first time a ship has stayed mobile in Canada's high Arctic for a whole winter.

'(Climate change) is happening much faster than our most pessimistic models expected,' says David Barber, a professor at the University of Manitoba and the study's lead investigator.

Models predicted only a few years ago that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by the year 2100, but the increasing pace of climate change now suggests it could happen between 2013 and 2030, Barber said.

The cost of the Arctic's rapid melt will be $US2.4 trillion by 2050 as the region loses its ability to cool the global climate, says the U.S.-based Pew Environment Group, which released a report showing the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet.

Full report in NewsDaily.