Archive by category | Ocean science

Melting icebergs raise the sea level

Since 1994, around 750 cubic kilometers of floating ice – equivalent to the volume of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia – have been melting each year around the Arctic Ocean and off Antarctica, an analysis of satellite observation has revealed. The massive loss of sea ice actually adds a wee bit to global sea level rise, scientists report in a paper in Geophysical Research Letters.  Read more

IMarEST launches position statement on climate change

IMarEST launches position statement on climate change

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology – an international body that traditionally has represented marine industry and more recently, scientists too – today released its position statement on climate change.  Read more

4 Degrees and Beyond: To flee the sea, or not to flee?

Immersing yourself in the impacts of extreme climate change can give rise to a certain amount of gallows humor. Conversation among my dinner companions last night turned to whether this week’s 4 Degrees and Beyond conference or March’s Copenhagen Climate Congress provided “more apocalypse for your conference fee”. The far more serious question, of course, is how much upheaval and human suffering would come with the substantial warming that delegates here are contemplating. Some interesting talks today looked at the facets of sea level rise and population displacement.  Read more

Cloud shields breached by warming

Cloud shields breached by warming

Blankets of low clouds shield and cool the Earth’s surface – but in a warming climate, will this safety blanket thicken, or will it deteriorate? That question has bugged climatologists for decades. A paper published in Science today (subscription) now offers convincing evidence that warming leads to fewer clouds, and thus exposure to more warming.  Read more