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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Arctic Wedges Melting, Portrays Warming Trends Still Climbing

Ice caps are the planets air conditioner... 

"We were not expecting to see these dramatic changes," he said. "We could see some other places where ice wedges were melting, but they were all related to surface disturbances, or it happened a long time ago. Whatever is happening, it's something new for at least the last 60 years in the Arctic."

Vladimir Romanovsky, Professor Geophysics

Degrading Ice Wedges Reshape Arctic Landscape


Ice wedges, a common subsurface feature in permafrost landscapes, appear to be rapidly melting throughout the Arctic, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The wedges, which can be the size of a house, gradually formed over hundreds or even thousands of years as water seeped into permafrost cracks. On the ground surface, they form polygon shapes roughly 15-30 meters wide -- a defining characteristic of northern landscapes.
The micro-topographic features of ice wedge polygons affect drainage, snow distribution and the general wetness or dryness of a landscape.


Tipping Point Looms for South Africa 

South Africans are paying the price not just for a collapse in commodities prices -- metals and mining contribute more than 50 percent of exports -- but for growing questions over whether President Jacob Zuma is up to the task. 

It's a point of no return in the West Antarctica. What happens next?

The retreat of ice in the Amundsen sea sector of West Antarctica is now unstoppable. Sea levels will rise one metre worldwide. Its disappearance will likely trigger the collapse of the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which comes with a sea level rise of between three and five metres. Such an event will displace millions worldwide.

Sydney: what’s behind the city’s record run of warm weather

Offshore sea temperatures have been uncharacteristically warm. The East Australian Current has extended further south

13 MILLION American Homes Affected? 

Research will help policymakers plan for sea level rise

Athens, Ga. - A new study by University of Georgia researchers could help protect more than 13 million American homes that will be threatened by rising sea levels by the end of the century.
It is the first major study to assess the risk from rising seas using year 2100 population forecasts for all 319 coastal counties in the continental U.S. Previous impact assessments use current population figures to assess long-term effects of coastal flooding.
The study is based on analyses by Mathew Hauer for his doctoral work with the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Deepak Mishra of the UGA department of geography; and Jason Evans, a former UGA faculty member now with Stetson University. It was published March 14 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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