Midnight In The Desert — ice caps

Captain Cook's detailed 1778 records confirm global warming today in the Arctic

Posted by K R on

Captain Cook's detailed 1778 records confirm global warming today in the Arctic

Passengers simmered in Jacuzzis and feasted on gourmet cuisine this summer as the 850-foot cruise ship Crystal Serenity moved through the Northwest Passage. But in the summer of 1778, when Cant. James Cook tried to find a Western entrance to the route, his men toiled on frost-slicked decks and complained about having to supplement dwindling rations with walrus meat. The British expedition was halted north of the Bering Strait by "ice which was as compact as a wall and seemed to be 10 or 12 feet high at least," according to the captain's journal. Cook's ships followed the ice edge...

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Cruise ships are heading into the Arctic for the first time as the ice melts

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Cruise ships are heading into the Arctic for the first time as the ice melts

SVALBARD, Norway (Reuters) - A surge in Arctic tourism is bringing ever bigger cruise ships to the formerly isolated, ice-bound region, prompting calls for a clamp-down to prevent Titanic-style accidents and the pollution of fragile eco-systems. Arctic nations should consider limiting the size of vessels and ban the use of heavy fuel oil in the region, industry players said, after a first luxury cruise ship sailed safely through Canada's Northwest Passage this summer. The route, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Arctic, was once clogged with icebergs but is now ice-free in summer due to global warming....

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What the Earth would look like if all the ice melted

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What the Earth would look like if all the ice melted

We learned last year that many of the effects of climate change are irreversible. Sea levels have been rising at a greater rate year after year, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates they could rise by another meter or more by the end of this century. As National Geographic showed us in 2013, sea levels would rise by 216 feet if all the land ice on the planet were to melt. This would dramatically reshape the continents and drown many of the world's major cities. Via YouTube

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A huge crack is spreading across one of Antarctica’s biggest ice shelves

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A huge crack is spreading across one of Antarctica’s biggest ice shelves

For some time, scientists who focus on Antarctica have been watching the progression of a large crack in one of the world’s great ice shelves — Larsen C, the most northern major ice shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula, and the fourth largest Antarctic ice shelf overall. Larsen C, according to the British Antarctic Survey, is “slightly smaller than Scotland.” It’s called an ice “shelf” because the entirety of this country-sized area is covered by 350 metre thick ice that is floating on top of deep ocean waters. The crack in Larsen C grew around 30 kilometres in length between 2011...

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Algae are melting away the Greenland ice sheet

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Algae are melting away the Greenland ice sheet

Researchers are fanning out across the Greenland ice sheet this month to explore a crucial, but overlooked, influence on its future: red, green and brown-coloured algal blooms. These darken the snow and ice, causing it to absorb more sunlight and melt faster. The £3-million (US$4-million) Black and Bloom project aims to measure how algae are changing how much sunlight Greenland’s ice sheet bounces back into space. “We want to get a handle on just how much of the darkness is due to microbes and how much to other physical factors”, such as soot or mineral dust, says Martyn Tranter, a...

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