Antarctica Just Shed a Manhattan-Sized Chunk of Ice


The Pine Island Glacier on the coast of West Antarctica is a case in point. A massive iceberg roughly 225 square miles in size — or in more familiar terms, 10 times the size of Manhattan — broke off in July 2015. Scientists subsequently spotted cracks in the glacier on a November 2016 flyover. And in January, another iceberg cleaved off the glacier.

The ocean under Pine Island Glacier’s ice shelf has warmed about 1°F since the 1990s. That’s causing the ice shelf to melt and pushing the grounding line — the point where the ice begins to float — back toward land, creating further instability.

— source climatecentral.org

Hidden lakes drain below West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier

Thwaites Glacier on the edge of West Antarctica is one of the planet’s fastest-moving glaciers. Research shows that it is sliding unstoppably into the ocean, mainly due to warmer seawater lapping at its underside.

Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Edinburgh used data from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 to identify a sudden drainage of large pools below Thwaites Glacier, one of two fast-moving glaciers at the edge of the ice sheet. The study published Feb. 8 in The Cryosphere finds four interconnected lakes drained in the eight months from June 2013 and January 2014. The glacier sped up by about 10 percent during that time, showing that the glacier’s long-term movement is fairly oblivious to trickles at its underside.

— source washington.edu

Impact of Ocean Acidification on species’ distribution

Ocean Acidification and the extent to which marine species are able to deal with low pH levels in the Earth’s seas, could have a significant influence on shifting the distribution of marine animals in response to climate warming.

This is one the findings of a landmark new study that has taken a first-ever global scale integrative approach to the topic, bringing together population genetics, growth, shell mineralogy and metabolic data for marine snails found in the North Atlantic.

Published in this month’s Nature Communications, the report, Regional adaptation defines sensitivity to future ocean acidification, reveals that populations at the northern and southern range edges are the most sensitive to ocean acidification, and the least likely to be able deal with significant implications for biogeography and diversity.

Scientists at the University of Quebec in Rimouski (UQAR), Canada, the University of Plymouth, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and the University of Birmingham, launched the project in 2010 with funding from a number of sources, including the Natural Environment Research Council’s UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme.

Project lead Dr Piero Calosi, from the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Geography at UQAR, said:

“It is well established that an organism’s physiological response to temperature is a major determinant of species distributions, which in turn can dictate the sensitivity of populations and species to global warming. In contrast, little is known about how other major global change drivers, such as ocean acidification, will help shape species’ distributions in the future.”

The team sampled the common periwinkle Littorina littorea – an intertidal snail that has a wide latitudinal distribution – from six populations living along the European coastline of the North Atlantic, including warm temperate, cold temperate and subpolar regions. Specimens were transported to the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre at the University of Plymouth and kept in aquaria containing either sea water representing current (pH 8.0) levels, or low pH predicted to occur for the year 2100 (pH 7.6).

Upon analysis, the scientists discovered a range of impacts including markedly higher rates of shell dissolution and degradation across all of the specimens maintained in the low pH condition, caused by the corrosive water conditions. This was particularly marked in the snails from the subpolar region, which have genetically adapted to the colder waters.

Where populations exhibited clear differences was in their metabolic responses to low pH conditions. The snails from warm temperate populations were found to decrease their metabolism as a trade-off between maintaining their physiological systems and their ability to grow, ultimately limiting the latter. Snails from the subpolar populations maintained their metabolic rates, but increased the amount of energy they put into shell mineralization. And the snails taken from the cold temperate waters were able to increase their metabolic rate, fuelling the maintenance of their growth and of their physiological systems to a better level than the other populations.

Dr Simon Rundle, from the School of Biological and Marine Sciences at University of Plymouth, said:

“Such latitudinal differences in the metabolic ‘strategies’ may, in part, help explain the observed reduced growth towards range edges. Exposure to ocean acidification was shown to cause a reduction in the energy metabolism of the snails, and such reductions can lead to a reallocation of the energy budget away from fundamental fitness-related functions.”

Professor Stephen Widdicombe, Head of Science in Marine Ecology and Biodiversity at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said:

“Together, the findings of this study suggest that the relative sensitivity of different populations of L. littorea to future ocean acidification are likely to vary considerably across its geographical range of extension in the North East Atlantic through local and regional adaptation, with populations closer to the range edges being most sensitive.”

Dr Lucy Millicent Turner, from the University of Plymouth, added:

“If ocean acidification selects against sensitive, range-edge genotypes, it could cause a reduction of genetic diversity levels that could have far-reaching consequences for the ability of these populations to respond and further adapt to other local and global stressors.”

The results, say the authors, also demonstrate the risks of using single population studies when aiming to predict species’ and community responses to global environmental drivers.

“We may be currently over- or underestimating the impact of different environmental changes in different climatic regions,”

concludes Dr Calosi,

”with this having important implications for the development of directives and policies to promote the preservation of marine biodiversity under the ongoing global change.”

— source plymouth.ac.uk By Andrew Merrington

Trump Administration Orders EPA to Remove Its Climate Change Web Page

The Trump administration has instructed U.S. EPA to get rid of mentions of climate change from its website. Communications staff were told to remove the agency’s webpage on climate change, according to two unnamed EPA staff members. The move adds to concerns that a Trump administration will promote a denial of fundamental science within its agencies.

“If the website goes dark, years of work we have done on climate change will disappear,” one of the staff members told Reuters.

If climate change is removed from EPA’s site, it won’t be the Trump administration’s first online scrubbing of the issue. Moments after the inauguration Friday, the new whitehouse.gov site had eliminated all mention of former President Obama’s climate initiatives and replaced them with an “America First” energy plan. It calls for eliminating Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

the official White House website was also completely replaced, with nearly every reference to climate change erased from the site.

— source scientificamerican.com

Why? Because they think that extreme climate is a good thing to make money. If your life is completely depend on some companies, what a great thing for capitalism, right?

Man Dies on 100th Day of Walking Across US for Climate Change

On the 100th day of Mark James Baumer’s journey to walk across the United States barefoot in order to raise money and awareness about climate change, he was fatally struck by an SUV as he trekked along U.S. Hwy 90 in Florida.

That somberly ended his second expedition for the struggle against climate change — the first of which happened in 2010, when he walked across the country with shoes.

Baumer’s plan at the end of his trek was to donate the funds he raised to FANG Collective, a non-violent resistance group against the natural gas industry.

On the day he was killed, Saturday, he had posted what would be his final video on the internet. In it, he speaks scornfully of President Donald Trump.

— source telesurtv.net, notgoingtomakeit.com