Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/17/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pine Island Glacier hits uncontrollable retreat and could collapse within a few decades, scientists say

It's an alarming bit of news that raises concern for the world's ecology over the course of the next several decades. The Pine Island Glacier, which contributes more to sea level rise than any other glacier on Antarctica has hit a tipping point of uncontrollable retreat. The massive land mass could collapse as soon as the next 20 years, scientists say.

The researcher's findings suggest that this would cause the glacier to uncontrollably retreat about 25 miles over the next several decades, potentially raising global sea levels by more than 0.4 inches.

The researcher's findings suggest that this would cause the glacier to uncontrollably retreat about 25 miles over the next several decades, potentially raising global sea levels by more than 0.4 inches.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/17/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Pine Island Glacier, melting, tipping point, shelf, Antarctica


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The glacier accounts for about 20 percent of the total ice flow on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is a collection of glaciers that covers roughly 800,000 square miles. The landmass makes up about 10 percent of the total ice on Antarctica.

Researchers think that, given the size of Pine Island Glacier, its collapse could have an overall "domino effect" on surrounding glaciers. Over the course of many years would eventually lead to the collapse of the entire ice sheet, which would raise average global sea level by between 10 and 16 feet.

Remember Saint Nicholas with this special prayer card!


The Pine Island Glacier is by far the least stable of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet ice flows. The glacier's melting rate has accelerated due to relatively warm ocean currents that have seeped underneath its base and lubricated its flow seaward.

As the glacier slip further into the ocean, its ice shelf, the part that floats on water and extends beyond the glacier's base, disintegrates through a natural process called calving. An iceberg larger than the city of Chicago broke off into the surrounding Amundsen Sea last year.

Given the complicated nature of glacial dynamics, attempts to map out the disintegration have been limited and prone to error. Such variable such as precipitation, wind patterns, atmospheric temperatures, oceanic currents and the shape of bedrock underneath the glacier are only some of the many factors that control glacial growth and retreat.

Models predicting glacial behavior using mathematical figures are therefore very complicated and always prone to some degree of error.

Researchers based at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Grenoble have now developed state-of-the-art models that, while still limited, provide the best estimates yet of the future behavior of Pine Island Glacier. The glacier's grounding line, the point where glacier and its ice shelf meet is about to retreat over an oceanic trench that would increase the amount of water that seeps underneath and melts the glacier.

The researcher's findings suggest that this would cause the glacier to uncontrollably retreat about 25 miles over the next several decades, potentially raising global sea levels by more than 0.4 inches.

Once glacier passes the trench, it will not likely regain stability or enter a positive-growth phase.

"Whatever it will do, we are already engaged in a big change," study co-author Gael Durand says. "We have passed the tipping point."

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


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


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Green

Science finally catches up to Einstein Watch

Image of Albert Einstein's theory proves true in NASA detection of gravitational waves (NASA).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In what may be the largest leap in physics this century, scientists believe they discovered Albert Einstein's gravitational waves. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Einstein predicted that gravity is not constant. He believed it traveled in waves that appear as ... continue reading


Hundreds of mysterious galaxies discovered hiding behind the Milky Way Watch

Image of Using the Parkes telescope, which utilizes radio waves to observe space, scientists detected 883 galaxies in the ZoA. A third of the bodies had never been reported before.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An international team of scientists has discovered hundreds of galaxies beyond our Milky Way. Astronomers from the United States, South Africa, Australia, and the Netherlands say that these galaxies are "relatively" close at 250 million light years away. They ... continue reading


You won't believe how many Americans actually care about global warming! Watch

Image of While a threat to humanity, global warming is of very low concern to the majority of most Americans.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Climate change - or global warming, has a wide range of apocalyptic possibilities - drought, fire, famine and government collapse are promised by the world's soaring temperatures. However, according to a recent poll - Americans just do not care, or express much concern ... continue reading


NOAA caught adjusting temperature data to make global warming worse! But why did they do it? Watch

Image of NOAA: And we would have gotten away with it if not for you pesky skeptics!

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Global warming is probably the most serious issue facing the world today. If global temperatures are spiking, then the world as we know it will change. Even the U.S. military considers global warming to be a major threat to national security. But what if the climate ... continue reading


Here's what a plague of locusts looks like (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of When grasshoppers swarm, they become known as locusts. Their colors and behaviors change dramatically.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Amid news that the largest locust swarm in five decades is devouring crops in Argentina, some people have wondered just what such a thing looks like. Here's what a plague of biblical proportions looks like.  [media id="17873"][media id="17875"][media ... continue reading


Will the symbolic Doomsday Clock move closer to the fatal end? Watch

Image of Doomsday Clock is currently set three minutes to 12.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic visual of the world's impending doom. Once the clock strikes midnight, the world as we know it will come to an apocalyptic halt -all of our own doing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) is ... continue reading


El Nino DISASTER looms for California: 'ATMOSPHERIC RIVER EVENT' possible, could be followed 'VERY LOW SNOW LEVELS' Watch

Image of The ARkstorm scenario has been modeled in California. In 1862, an actual ARkstorm hit the state. Similar, but less destructive storms have hit in 1938, 1968, and 1986.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A long range weather forecast for California predicts the state may be hit by a major El Nino storm next weekend. That storm could be followed by abnormally cold temperatures that could put snow on the valley floor, a rare event for the region. UPDATE: Wednesday, 1/27, ... continue reading


SHOCKING reality facing oceans: Plastic pollution 'equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute' Watch

Image of The ocean is already full of plastic -but more is on its way (LiveScience).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Everyone has heard of the spread of plastic pollution in our oceans -but how many of us realize just how serious the situation really is? According to the World Economic Forum, the amount of plastic currently dumped into our oceans each year is the equivalent of one ... continue reading


Global warming devours lake twice the size of Los Angeles Watch

Image of A fisherman displays his license. Without any water or fish, his livelihood has evaporated. Bolivia has declared a national disaster.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Climate change may be a debate topic in the United States, but for people who have been impacted by warming weather, it is a harsh reality. This is painfully evident in Lake Poopo, Bolivia, that nation's second-largest lake, which has now dried up to just 2 percent of ... continue reading


NOAA: 2015 officially hottest year on record. -- Skeptics just insist all scientists are lying Watch

Image of According to NASA and NOAA, 2015 was the hottest year on modern record.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

More evidence. There's more proof the planet is warming, and it's not even a debatable subject anymore. According to NOAA, 2015 is the hottest year on record, by far. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Last year was the hottest recorded year since record-keeping ... 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 26:4-10
4 'The priest will then take the basket from your hand and lay it before ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:1-13
1 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 10:8-13
8 What does it say, then? The word is very near to you; it is in your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 14th, 2016 Image

St. Valentine
February 14: Click Here for St. Valentine Prayer's Saint ... Read More