Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Called a 'perennial firn aquifer,' lake remains in liquid state despite freezing temperatures

As they teach children in elementary school, in spite of their names, the nation of "Iceland" is beautiful and a verdant green; "Greenland" is icy and remote. Their names, children are taught, were in order to throw explorers off so those who discovered Iceland could keep it all to themselves! However - a perpetually liquid lake has been discovered under Greenland, giving scientists pause.

There is a sense of urgency about the discovery. The consequences of losing the Greenland Ice Sheet could be catastrophic.

There is a sense of urgency about the discovery. The consequences of losing the Greenland Ice Sheet could be catastrophic.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Greenland, lake, climate change, perennial firn aquifer


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The massive, 43,500 square kilometer body of water is known as a "perennial firn aquifer." It remains liquid year-round despite the otherwise perpetually frozen landscape.

The discovery could have major implications for understanding sea level rise. According to researchers at the University of Utah, "Large amounts of snow fall on the surface late in the summer and quickly insulates the water from the subfreezing air temperatures above, allowing the water to persist all year long," Rick Forster, lead author and professor of geography at the University of Utah says.

Sprawling, the Greenland Ice Sheet covers roughly the same area as the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah combined. The average thickness of the ice is 5,000 feet. The ice sheet lost volume of 60 cubic miles, in 2012 was a record for melt and runoff.

"Of the current sea level rise, the Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest contributor - and it is melting at record levels," Forster says. "So understanding the aquifer's capacity to store water from year to year is important because it fills a major gap in the overall equation of melt water runoff and sea levels."

Forster's team over the past three years has measured snow accumulation Greenland and its variables from year to year. The area they study covers 14 percent of southeast Greenland but receives 32 percent of the entire ice sheet's snowfall, but there has been little data gathered.

The team drilled core samples in three locations on the ice in 2010 for analysis. Returning the following year to approximately the same area, at a lower elevation, two of the core samples came to the surface. Liquid water poured off the drill as air temperatures were minus 20 degrees centigrade. Discovered at about 10 meters below the surface at the first hole and at 25 meters in the second hole, the water proved to be quite a surprise.

"Although water discharge from streams in winter had been previously reported, and snow temperature data implied small amounts of water, no one had yet reported observing water in the firn that had persisted through the winter," Forster says.

There is a sense of urgency about the discovery. The consequences of losing the Greenland Ice Sheet could be catastrophic. If all the water retained in the ice sheet melted, it is estimated that the global sea level would rise about six meters, Forster says. Maintaining a steady watch on ice formation, runoff amounts and how the water is moving is critical to accurately predicting sea level changes.



---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Green

Ancient salamander, thought to have roamed Earth 170 million years ago found by Chinese ranger Watch

Image of After keeping it in a temporary tank, Xiao released the creature back into the river, watched by a crowd of tourists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A park ranger in south China named only as "Mr. Xiao" has caught an enormous Chinese salamander. It is acknowledged as the world's largest living amphibian and is known as the "Living Fossil," as it has remained unchanged for 170 million years. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists discover annoying foam packing peanuts can now be used for something other than trash Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Foam peanuts that constantly clutter your room and fill up the trash, after a package arrives, could actually be useful. This new discovery, presented at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), was researched by a team from ... continue reading


Giant crocodile ruled the Earth long before dinosaurs Watch

Image of Carnufex, meaning

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A nine-foot-tall monster with blade-like teeth at one time strolled through the warm and wet environs of what is now known as North Carolina some 230 million years ago. The Carnufex carolinensis, as known by its scientific name, was active long before dinosaurs ... continue reading


Rapidly thinning Antarctic glacier 'appears unstoppable' Watch

Image of The Totten Glacier is larger and thinning faster than all the others in East Antarctica are.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Everyone is now aware about the rapidly melting polar icecaps. Scientists have raised concerns about a large, rapidly thinning glacier in Antarctica. Researchers have discovered two openings that could channel warm seawater to the base of the huge Totten ... continue reading


EXTREMELY SEVERE DROUGHT: California is not only up a creek without a paddle - it's loosing the creek as well Watch

Image of California has been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet of total water yearly since 2011.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the East Coast was battered with rain, sleet and record snowfall, California faced the driest January on record, ever since records began to be taken in 1865. With snow packs in the mountains at all time lows, the state's drought has many people wonder if ... continue reading


SEA MONSTER: Massive 14-foot stingray declared world's largest caught fish Watch

Image of After getting the ray alongside, it was then taken into a specially prepared pen. It took seven people to lift the ray out of the water so it could be properly measured.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive, 14-feet stingray recently caught by two anglers has since broken the world's record for the largest freshwater fish caught by rod and line. The gigantic, flat fish bearing a poisonous barb measured over eight feet in width, 14 feet in length and ... continue reading


AMAZING DIVERSITY: 1,451 new marine species identified in our oceans in a single year Watch

Image of Biologists also identified two new species of dolphin last year. One was found near Papua New Guinea and the other in a Brazilian river. Sadly, both are already threatened by anglers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is nothing new under the sun... or is it? The finite capabilities of man would deduce that after centuries of science and exploration, humankind would know everything there is to know about the various life forms on this planet. Scientists have proven ... continue reading


Rare, 475-pound leatherback sea turtle washes up on South Carolina beach Watch

Image of Treatments appear to be helping. Aquarium officials said the turtle was more energetic earlier this week than when it was first admitted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A rare, 475-pound leatherback sea turtle washed up on a South Carolina beach this past weekend. Marine biologists at the South Carolina Aquarium are currently treating the turtle who they named "Yawkey." Discovered on the Yawkey-South Island Preserve, a ... continue reading


BUSTED! A-list Climate Change deniers go nuts in emails over documentary that exposes ties to fossil fuel industry Watch

Image of Despite the obvious signs, a number of scientists continue to insist that global warming isn't happening.

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

An A list of "climate change deniers" has been released, exposing the connections that climate change denial scientists have to the fossil fuel industry and other private firms that are literally paying them for their denial. The leaked emails stem from a documentary ... continue reading


Extinct bird remarkably reappears after 70 years gone Watch

Image of The team observed several babblers at different locations in the area for two days, according to an official release.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A small brown bird, the Jerdon's babbler was last seen in Myanmar in 1941. Presumed extinct, the babbler has made an unexpected comeback. Naturalists are boy busy resurrecting the bird from the list of animals thought to have vanished from the Earth. LOS ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 20:10-13
10 I heard so many disparaging me, 'Terror on every ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:31-42
31 The Jews fetched stones to stone him,32 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 27th, 2015 Image

St. Rupert
March 27: Bishop and missionary, also listed as Robert of Hrodbert. A ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter