Before you do anything else, the EPA presents, very effectively, the issues here

MELTING ICE & SNOW

MELTING ICE & SNOW

Melting glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica have a direct and profound impact on sea-level rise.

Greenland’s ice sheet is losing mass about six times faster than it was a few decades ago. In the past fifty years, the sheet has already shed enough to add about half an inch of water to the world’s oceans. In just this last summer’s heat wave, meltwater — equivalent to over 4 million swimming pools — sloughed into the ocean in a single day.

Antarctica, that frigid expanse of land at the Earth’s Southern pole, is covered by 90% of the planet’s ice. If all of its ice were to melt, sea levels would rise by 190 feet. It is melting at an alarming rate, with the rate of thaw tripling over the past decade and losing 2.71 trillion tons of ice between 1992 and 2017 with half of these losses occurring in the past five years, shrinking to record low levels

Melting ice is not limited to the poles and is happening around the world: Alaska’s sea ice has all melted; the glaciers of the Himalayas are melting twice as fast as they were in 2000; the Patagonian icefields are a fraction of their previous size. Iceland marked its first loss of a glacier to climate change with a funeral, and the Swiss followed suit with a funeral for the Pizol glacier in the Alps. 

And, then there is our own ice melt.

Diana Six, an entomologist at the U. of Montana, recently returned from a trip to Montana’s Glacial National Park, where the 97/98˚heat had decimated the ice. In despair, she said, “I don’t think people realize that climate change is not just a loss of ice. It’s all the stuff that’s dependent on it. The water is too warm for the fish. At some of the lower elevations, glacier lilies were shriveled, lupins didn’t even open. The flowers should extend for another three weeks but they’re already gone. Any insects or birds that depend upon them, like bees or hummingbirds are in trouble, their food is gone. Bird populations have just baked. There have been total losses of a lot of baby birds this year. You see these ospreys and eagles sitting on top of the trees in their nests and those young, they just can’t take the heat.”

CREDIT: ICN

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Ice Sheets

01/29/22
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing significant amounts of land-based ice as a result of human-caused global warming. Data from NASA's GRACE and GRACE Follow-On satellites show that the land ice sheets in…

Five Facts to Help You Understand Sea Ice

10/20/21
One way that scientists monitor climate change is through the measure of sea ice extent. Sea ice extent is the area of ice that covers the Arctic Ocean at a given time. Sea ice plays…

Climate Change Indicators: Snow and Ice

05/18/21
The Earth’s surface contains many forms of snow and ice, including sea, lake, and river ice; snow cover; glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets; and frozen ground. Climate change can dramatically alter the Earth’s snow-…

New Study Identifies Mountain Snowpack Most “At-Risk” from Climate Change

03/01/21
CPO-funded scientists theorize why snowpack in coastal regions, the Arctic, and the Western U.S. may be among the most at-risk for premature melt from rising temperatures

Polar Tales: The Future of Ice, Life, and the Arctic (2020)

02/24/21
The Arctic is the ground zero of climate change, and the polar bear is on the front line. Filled with groundbreaking photography that reveals the breathtaking landscapes of the Arctic and the transformations of the…

Antarctica: The Waking Giant (2020)

02/24/21
Winner of three 2020 International Photography Awards and named Photographer of the Year from the Tokyo International Awards, explorer Sebastian Copeland's stunning photography delivers unparalleled access to the least explored continent on Earth and galvanizes…

Rate of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet will exceed Holocene values this century

10/08/20
The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is losing mass at a high rate1. Given the short-term nature of the observational record, it is difficult to assess the historical importance of this mass-loss trend.

Widespread Biological Response to Rapid Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

10/01/20
First Peninsula-wide assessment of biological sensitivity to recent warming.

The Ice at the End of the World (2019)

03/28/20
A riveting, urgent account of the explorers and scientists racing to understand the rapidly melting ice sheet in Greenland, a dramatic harbinger of climate change.

Operation IceBridge mission

09/10/19
NASA’s Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system.

MORE NEWS

Newly spotted lakes on Greenland ice sheet are speeding up its demise

By Robin George Andrews  Photo: NASA Goddard   12/11/19  
Satellite sleuthing reveals that Greenland summers now are warm enough to create 27 percent more lakes than 20 years ago, and at higher elevations.

Greenland’s Ice Sheet Is Melting at Rate That Surpasses Scientists’ Expectations, Study Shows

12/11/19  
The rate that Greenland's ice sheet is melting surpassed scientists' expectations and has raised concerns that their worst-case scenario predictions are coming true, Business Insider reported.A...

We Are Failing to Protect the Arctic From the Climate Crisis, Report Card Shows

12/11/19  
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its 14th annual Arctic Report Card Tuesday, and the results are grim.NoneThe average land temperature between October 2018...

Climate change is ravaging the Arctic, report finds

12/11/19  
It was another very warm year in the region, leading to low winter sea ice and growing concerns over sea level rise.

In Sweden’s Arctic, ice atop snow leaves reindeer starving

12/11/19  
Snowfall is common in these areas, but as temperatures increase, occasional rainfall occurs — and 'rain-on-snow' events are having devastating effects.

The Climate Crisis Is Now So Bad That Even the Arctic Is Emitting Greenhouse Gas

By Ryan Bort  Photo by Tim Graham   12/11/19  
The report details a rapidly changing Arctic environment featuring melting ice, a greener landscape, and, alarmingly, greenhouse-gas emissions on par with some large nations. The Arctic could be releasing upwards of 600 million tons of…

Scientists rank world’s most important, most threatened mountain water towers

12/09/19  
Scientists from around the world, including University of Maine Climate Change Institute director Paul Mayewski, have assessed the planet’s 78 mountain glacier-based water systems and, for the first time, ranked them in order of their…

Thinning Ice Around Antarctica Is Weakening Its Ice Sheet

12/04/19  
For the first time, scientists have proven that the thinning ice shelves floating around Antarctica are driving ice loss from the interior of the continent as...

Cracks in the Greenland ice sheet are producing massive waterfalls, raising scientists’ concerns for sea level rise

By Andrew Freedman  Photo by Thomas R. Chudley   12/02/19  
A cerulean lake consisting of glacial meltwater on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, located about 18 miles from where the Store Glacier meets the sea in west Greenland, briefly became one of the…

Melting permafrost in the Arctic is unlocking diseases and warping the landscape

11/18/19  
Some of the consequences of thawed permafrost seem almost apocalyptic....

Living in Hope and Fear Beside India’s Retreating Himalayan Glaciers

11/15/19  
By Catherine DavidsonTashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane...

What’s Driving Antarctica’s Meltdown?

By Bob Berwyn  Photo: Jesse Allen/NASA   11/12/19  
Antarctica's ice loss is on the rise. Along with warmer water eating away at ice shelves from below, atmospheric rivers are causing trouble from above.

Scientists looked at sea levels 125,000 years in the past. The results are terrifying

By Fiona Hibbert, Eelco Rohling and Katharine Grant  Photo: Australian Antarctic Division   11/06/19  
Sea levels rose 10 metres above present levels during Earth’s last warm period 125,000 years ago, according to new research that offers a glimpse of what may happen under our current climate change trajectory.

New Project Will Study Greenland’s Helheim Glacier in Unprecedented Detail

10/14/19  
Using drones, laser scanners, and high-resolution models, researchers hope to find out more about the processes driving rapid melting in this region. ...

Scientists on Arctic expedition choose ice floe that’ll be home for a year

10/06/19  
The Mosaic mission has picked the ice floe it will be frozen into for the next year, to learn more about global warming's effects on the Arctic. ...

Giant iceberg breaks off from eastern Antarctica for first time since 1960s

10/01/19  
The calving isn't necessarily linked to climate change but is a normal stage in an ice shelf's cycle, scientists say....

Arctic sea ice hits 2nd lowest on record

09/29/19  
This year’s annual minimum of the Arctic sea ice has tied with the second-lowest extent on record, a mere 1.6 million square miles.

Massive Mont Blanc Glacier in Danger of Collapsing Soon

09/26/19  
Authorities have closed roads and evacuated buildings in the Italian Alps after scientists warned Wednesday that a massive chunk of a glacier is in danger of...

Where the Sea Ice Recedes, So Does an Alaska Way of Life

By Vera Trainer, Rick Thoman and Gay Sheffield  Photo by Ruth Fremson   09/25/19  
The Yupik whale hunters from Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island off western Alaska want to know when they will see bowhead whales again.

250 People Attend Funeral for ‘Death’ of Swiss Alps Glacier

09/23/19  
Hundreds of activists gathered in the Swiss Alps on Sunday to mourn the loss of Pizol, a glacier that has steadily retreated over the last decade...

2019 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Tied for Second Lowest on Record

09/23/19  
The extent of Arctic sea ice at the end of this summer was effectively tied with 2007 and 2016 for second lowest since modern record keeping began in the late 1970s. An analysis of satellite…

Landsat Illustrates Five Decades of Change to Greenland Glaciers

08/28/19  
Ice fronts have retreated, rocky peaks are more exposed, fewer icebergs drift to the ocean: the branching network of glaciers that empty into Greenland’s Sermilik Fjord has changed significantly in the last half-century. Comparing Landsat…

A Northwest Passage journey finds little ice and big changes

08/27/19  
E360's Arctic correspondent witnesses a world being transformed, with ice disappearing, balmy temperatures becoming common, and alien invaders – from plastic waste to new diseases – on the rise....

Iceland Holds Its First Funeral for a Glacier

08/19/19  
Officials, activists and scientists gathered in Iceland Sunday for the funeral of the nation's first glacier to fall victim to the climate crisis.Iceland's Okjokull glacier lost...

Humans cause Antarctic ice melt, study finds

08/13/19  
Yes, it’s us. Human activities are to blame for at least part of what’s melting the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, scientists say. The post Humans cause Antarctic ice melt, study finds appeared first on Climate…

Alaska’s Sea Ice Has All Melted

08/07/19  
The ice near Alaska's shores has melted away entirely, leaving the nearest ice shelf nearly 150 miles away, according to new satellite data from the National...

Greenland Melts at Never-Before Seen Rates as Heat Wave That Baked Europe Moves North

By Olivia Rosane  Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Getty Images   08/01/19  
The dome of hot air that broke records in Europe last week has headed north, and it's melting Greenland at record rates. Scientists say 2019's melt might be more extreme than the melt that broke…

The Greenland ice sheet is in the throes of one of its greatest melting events ever recorded

By Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman   07/31/19  
The same heat dome that roasted Europe and broke national temperature records in five countries last week has shifted to Greenland, where it is causing one of the biggest melt events ever observed on the…

Arctic wildfires in June equivalent to Sweden’s annual emissions – U.N.

By Tom Miles   07/12/19  
Arctic wildfires, some the size of 100,000 soccer pitches, emitted as much carbon dioxide (CO2) last month as the country of Sweden does in a whole year, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday.

The anthropology of climate change and glacier retreat

by Jeremy Hinsdale, Earth Institute, Columbia University  Photo: Ben Orlove   07/11/19  
Ben Orlove, an anthropologist, has conducted field work in the Peruvian Andes, East Africa, the Italian Alps and Aboriginal Australia. His early work focused on agriculture, fisheries and rangelands.

Robin Bell Goes to Washington to Testify About Melting Ice Sheets

07/11/19  
At a hearing of the House Science Committee on Thursday, she’ll explain her research and why changing polar ice matters to everyone in America and around the world. ...

One of Antarctica’s biggest glaciers will soon reach a point of irreversible melting. That would cause sea levels to rise at least 1.6 feet.

By Aylin Woodward   07/10/19  
Antarctica's glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates. This rapid ice loss contributes to rising sea-levels.

Antarctic Glacial Melt May Be Irreversible Causing Sea Rise, Research Says

07/09/19  
A glacier the size of Florida is melting much faster than expected and may soon trigger a 50cm, or 19.6 inches, rise in sea level, according to a new NASA-funded study published online by the…

‘Incredible’ and ‘crazy:’ Antarctic sea ice shrinks dramatically to record low levels

By Doyle Rice  Photo: Ted Scambos, AP   07/02/19  
A University of Washington-led team of scientists used robots and seals to help them understand why mysterious holes form in Antarctic sea ice, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

Climate change: Antarctic Peninsula ‘can still avoid irreversible change’

By Jonathan Amos  Photo: Maxar Digitalglobe   07/02/19  
Even if global warming can be kept to a 1.5-degree Celsius rise from pre-industrial times, the Antarctic Peninsula is set for some big changes.

These Glaciers Melt at Your Fingertips

06/25/19  
Take control of Greenland's melting ice over the past 12,000 years with a new simulation from the Virtual Earth System Laboratory at NASA-JPL. ›Visit the simulation Icy barriers began melting away at the close of…

SPY-SATELLITE IMAGES REVEAL HOW CLIMATE CHANGE IS RAPIDLY MELTING THE HIMALAYAN GLACIERS

By Carolyn Kormann  Photo by Phunjo Lama   06/20/19  
Over the last several years, on Mt. Everest, veteran alpine guides have reported seeing an increasing number of human skeletons and frozen corpses. One guide named Gelje Sherpa told the Times that when he first…

Himalayan Glacier Melt Has Doubled Since 2000, Satellites Show

By Olivia Rosane  Photo by Ed Giles   06/20/19  
The glaciers of the Himalayas are melting twice as fast as they were in the year 2000, a study published Wednesday in Science Advances found. The researchers assembled the most detailed look to date at…

How Old Spy Satellites Helped Scientists Peek In on Shrinking Himalayan Glaciers

By Jessica Leigh Hester  Photo by Josh Maurer   06/19/19  
When it comes to Mapping glacial ice and charting its retreat, scientists have several options. If it’s possible to navigate the surrounding snow fields, researchers can clamber up close to measure the margins, where the…
CNN

Greenland lost 2 billion tons of ice this week, which is very unusual

By Brandon Miller   06/15/19  
Over 40% of Greenland experienced melting Thursday, with total ice loss estimated to be more than 2 gigatons (equal to 2 billion tons) on just that day alone.

Temperatures leap 40 degrees above normal as the Arctic Ocean and Greenland ice sheet see record June melting

By Jason Samenow  Photo: Steffen Olsen   06/14/19  
And it may be messing with our weather.

Video: Glacier Research on the Juneau Icefield in Alaska

06/12/19  
Research by Lamont's Johnny Kingslake and Elizabeth Case advances understanding of ice sheet dynamics and how our world may change in the coming centuries. ...

Mass Die-Off of Puffins Raises More Fears About Arctic’s Warming Climate

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: Isaac Sanchez/CC-BY-2.0   05/29/19  
The story of the seabirds’ deaths likely starts at the bottom of the food chain, where warming water and climate change are changing the menu.

Study Uncovers Surprising Melting Patterns Beneath Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf

05/27/19  
ROSETTA-Ice project reveals that local ocean currents may play a critical role in the ice shelf’s future retreat. ...

On Endangered Species Day — and Every Day — Here’s How to Save the Animals

By Maggie Dewane   05/20/19  
If you feel compelled to join the efforts but don’t know where to begin, you are not alone. Here’s how to get started.

It was 84 degrees near the Arctic Ocean this weekend as carbon dioxide hit its highest level in human history

By Jason Samenow   05/14/19  
Over the weekend, the climate system sounded simultaneous alarms. Near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia, the temperature surged to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius). Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in…

60 days in Iceberg Alley, drilling for marine sediment to decipher Earth’s climate 3 million years ago

By Suzanne OConnell  Photo: Stefanie Brachfeld   05/06/19  
Competition is stiff for one of the 30 scientist berths on the JOIDES Resolution research vessel. I’m one of the lucky ones, granted the opportunity to work 12-hour days, seven days a week for 60…

Antarctica’s Effect on Sea Level Rise in Coming Centuries

04/25/19  
There are two primary causes of global mean sea level rise - added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers, and the expansion of sea water as it warms. The melting of Antarctica's ice sheet…

Antarctic ice loss sextupled since 1970s, study finds

By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis  Photo by Mario Tama   01/14/19  
Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water — a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are…

Andes meltdown: New insights into rapidly retreating glaciers

By Jon Gertner  Photo: Jeremy Harbeck / NASA   12/10/18  
The Thwaites Glacier is crumbling into the sea. Now scientists must answer two questions: When will it take the plunge? And can our coastal cities be saved?