A huge snow storm is descending upon my mountain. March is the month of big snow storms. The Arctic and Antarctic are melting and briefly, my own snow pack melted but it is being replaced with even more snow. Heh.
By Marc Kaufman, Washington Post Staff Writer
Some of the largest glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland are moving in unusual ways and are losing increased amounts of ice to the sea, researchers said yesterday.
Although the changes in Greenland appear to be related to global warming, it remains unclear what is causing the glaciers of frigid Antarctica and their "ice streams" to lose ice to the ocean in recent years, the researchers said.
"In Greenland we know there is melting associated with the ice loss, but in Antarctica we don't really know why it's happening," said Duncan Wingham, an author of the review released today in Science magazine. "With so much of the world's ice captured in Antarctica, just the fact that we don't know why this is happening is a cause of some concern."
The loss of ozone over both poles probably is letting more solar energy onto the ice and is possibly playing an increasing role in all this. Last month, they discovered lakes deep under the ice of Antarctica. These lakes are all interconnected and the sun has little to do with them, one might suggest the earth itself is responsible for this. All the plates upon which continents ride are moving, the fastest moving of all is the Australian plate. It will eventually cross the equator and head into most likely, Asia, as the continent rotates as it pushes the Pacific Plate in front of its prow.
There is a good chance that Antarctica is losing ice mass rapidly and is now on the move, itself. As the Atlantic opens ever-wider and the Pacific gets squeezed ever more, the energy under Antarctica, the enery within the Mantle itself, might awaken all those volcanoes down there. We really don't know what will happen if the ice there melts even more. This planet is geologically active thanks to ice and water redistributing pressure and weight.
Complicating the situation for those studying Antarctica, some parts of the continent are gaining ice depth through snowfall while temperatures on the tip of the Antarctic peninsula, the continent's closest point to South America, are rising faster than almost anywhere else on the planet. The surprisingly fast-moving glaciers are largely on the West Antarctic ice sheet.
It is interesting that the continent is losing ice at one end and gaining at the other. I might suggest this is a sign the continent has shifted sufficiently so that one half is now entering a warmer zone and this will unbalance things further and if the ground is getting warmer under the ice and melting it then this means geological forces are once again at work. Thanks to the ozone hole and global warming.
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 16 March 2007
A catastrophic collapse of the Arctic sea ice could lead to radical climate changes in the northern hemisphere according to scientists who warn that the rapid melting is at a "tipping point" beyond which it may not recover.
The scientists attribute the loss of some 38,000 square miles of sea ice - an area the size of Alaska - to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as well as to natural variability in Arctic ice.
We are certainly outgassing lots and lots of carbon dioxide that was trapped in the earth over millions of years. This process is certainly changing our climate in various ways. Stopping this is nearly impossilbe since we enjoy burning these ancient carbons and we look to do more and more of this and capping our own use is useless if we keep adding millions of humans on this very limited planet.
Of course, Mother Nature has a harsh way of dealing with infinity: she kills everything until a new balance is achieved.
Back from such grim thoughts, it is interesting to me how people react to the weather. We had a terribly cold time here for a month. Near or below zero. Then suddenly, the temperatures shot up to tropical levels, near seventy here in my northern bergs! This isn't a harbinger of spring but rather a warning a big blizzard is developing!
The biggest and baddest snow storms always come in Spring time. And always right on the heels of super-warm days. This yin/yang weather is classic. When I enjoyed the warm weather, I was also busy digging up channels for the sudden melting, my ponds all overflowed and water cascaded down the mountain. To keep the roads from washing out, we had to unclog drains blocked by ice. The movement of this water was invisible from above for the top of the snow looked the same, it was the bottom that was melting.
As in Antactica. Warm weather equals bigger storms and this is true in Antarctica as well as Greenland. This is why the coldest parts seem to be growing even as the outer edges are disintigrating. Here on my own mountain, I will have more snow on the warmer part of the year than the coldest part of the year---by a long shot. Maybe up to 2+ feet.
Tomorrow my husband and I will be busy removing snow and snow plowing all over the place. I hope any of my readers in the Northeast are secure at home and have a full cupboard.