Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/26/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find–even within the huge cities of the world–opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Green

Scientists found a 1,700 mile crack across the USA. Here's what you need to know Watch

Image of Quakes can happen almost anywhere.

By Tony Johnson (California Network)

Is America at risk for Great earthquakes spanning across the full United States?  "Cracks Across America", in Rift zones, may conceal large fracture type faults where scientists may not be able to identify where these hidden fractures may unleash catastrophic ... continue reading


Is The Big One going to strike California TOMORROW? Watch

Image of Is The Big One about to hit California?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With the latest data on the San Andreas fault, it feels certain that California is about to experience The Big One. (Like tomorrow!) But is that what the data really shows? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The world's most famous fault is the San Andreas. The ... continue reading


Potentially lethal heatwave grips Southwest as temperatures sizzle 25 degrees above summer normal Watch

Image of The extended heatwave is expected to shatter records, and could claim lives as the region withers.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A massive heat wave will envelop the American southwest this week, and into the foreseeable future, as California is warned to expect blackouts. The danger from this record breaking heatwave is extreme and people are urged to take precautions. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have hackers disrupted volcano data for Pacific Northwest? Watch

Image of Why did the public lose access to critical public safety data?

By Tony Johnson (California Network)

Unexpectedly, on June 17, 2016, hundreds of seismographs that cover the State of Oregon and Washington, including the PNW volcanoes, became inaccessible[2] with no explanation.  All of these seismograph stations are under the management of the Pacific Northwest ... continue reading


SORRY DUDE! Great white sharks appear in massive numbers off California coast, beaches closed Watch

Image of Look Ma! No cavities!

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Californians love their beaches, and few things can keep them out of the water, especially in the summer. Unfortunately, one of those things is appearing in greater numbers -sharks. And not just any sharks, but great whites. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The ... continue reading


Is the public being put in dark about Mt. St. Helens and other volcanoes as danger grows? Public now cut off from critical data Watch

Image of Why is information being kept from the public?

By Tony Johnson (California Network)

Just as spectrograph activity of volcanoes Rainier, Baker, Newberry, Three Sisters, and Crater Lake in the Pacific Northwest began to increase on June 13, 2016, the website HTML display code was changed to blank any public viewing of the data.  This raises a ... continue reading


Mystery of milky-white Kalama River may be solved Watch

Image of The Kalama River turned milky-white in 2015. The cause has remained a mystery until now.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Independent testing found a milky white substance colored the Kalama River just after a long lasting deluge engulfed Mt. St. Helens in October 2015. Unlike the milky coloring change of the Kalama River in 1980, and 2004, this time Mt. St. Helens remained quiet. What ... continue reading


Iceland discovers way to trap CO2, could save the world from global warming Watch

Image of Scientists in Iceland have found a way to turn CO2 into rock.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists in Iceland have found a way to save the world from carbon dioxide by converting the compound into rocks that can be buried deep underground. If the process can be made inexpensive, it could be a tool we use in the fight against global warming. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Why does the Kalama River turn white? Scientists can't explain this one weird thing that happens before Mt. St. Helens erupts - but here's a possible answer (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of First the Kalama River runs white, then Mt. St. Helens erupts.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Geologists are curious to see if a peculiar precursor to a Mt. St. Helens eruption occurs again. According to local observations, the Kalama River turns milky just before the volcano erupts. This phenomenon was observed in 1980, 2004, and in 2015 and has no confirmed ... continue reading


What the USGS isn't telling you about Mt. Hood - Mt Hood a time bomb? A 'Silent' intrusion of magma? Watch

Image of Something is happening beneath Mt. Hood. Should we be alarmed?

By Posted by Marshall Connolly (California Network)

Mount Hood possibly may be at risk for a Phreatic steam-explosion induced eruption that gives no-warning. Magma may have well intruded to shallow levels at Mount Hood. In this case, geologists may have "no warning" to an eruption from this 'silent' intrusion of ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St Irenaeus of Lyon Teaches Us How to Know God
  • Prayer to Our Lady, Health of the Sick HD Video
  • Prayer in Time of Bereavement HD Video
  • St. Irenaeus: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, June 28, 2016
  • The Vindication of Governor Bob McDonnell, Persevering Faith and the ...
  • Just like Hilter! Davos men want one European government NOW
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12
1 Listen, Israelites, to this prophecy which Yahweh pronounces against ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 5:4-6, 6-7, 8
4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil, no sinner can be your ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat followed by his disciples.24 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 28th, 2016 Image

St. Irenaeus
June 28: The writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a ... Read More