Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/17/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Year-to-year variation is unpredictable; Scientists think ponding more reliable

The melting of the Arctic ice caps has been one of concern - and ongoing debate within the scientific community. Previous measurements, year-to-year variation in water levels, have failed to be captured in computer models. Researchers in the United Kingdom now say that water collecting on top of the ice floes - "ponding," offer a far more reliable method to measure ice melt.

The ponds are darker than bare ice and therefore absorb more of the Sun's energy, promoting further melting.

The ponds are darker than bare ice and therefore absorb more of the Sun's energy, promoting further melting.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/17/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Ponding, Arctic melt, research, albedo


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Some Scientists say the amount of water ponding on top of the floes as they warm in the spring has proven to be an excellent indicator. Using their technique, the Reading University researchers reckon the minimum ice extent this September will be about 5.4 million square kilometers, the same as at the end of the melt season last year.

The floes in the far north, in particular are the subject of intense study due to their rapid summer decline.

Get food into the hands of hungry children -- by going here --

Their extent has diminished from about seven million square kilometers in the 1990s to less than five million square kilometers in five of the past seven years. A record minimum of 3.6 million square kilometers were set in 2012.

"The sort of three-month prediction we're making would be useful for people who need to do operations in the Arctic, such as shipping companies for navigation purposes," Professor Daniel Feltham explains. Feltham leads the NERC Center for Polar Observation and Modelling team at Reading.

"But the physics we're introducing will also, hopefully, help improve the climate models that look longer term," he told BBC News.

Feltham along with his colleagues have found a strong correlation between the fractions of the floes covered by pond water in May in contrast to the eventual sea-ice extent seen in September. The physical link is the change in reflectiveness, or albedo, brought about by the standing water.

The ponds are darker than bare ice and therefore absorb more of the Sun's energy, promoting further melting.

Feltham's team has developed a model to forecast the evolution of melt ponds in the Arctic. His team has incorporated this into more general climate sea-ice models.

Satellite records show that the year with smallest pond fraction in late spring, 11 percent in 1996. The biggest sea ice extent in September; and the year with the largest pond fraction, or 34 percent in 2012 featured the all-time low extent come the autumn.

The team has made its first open forecast for this September of 5.4 million square kilometers, give or take half a million.

"What could knock our prediction off course? Weather conditions, certainly. If we have anomalously cold conditions, we would expect the ice extent to be higher; or if we had very stormy conditions, like they did in August 2012 - that could diverge the ice and encourage more melting," he said.

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

NEW FURRY CRITTER: Hairy-chested crab found trolling at over 7000 feet deep in Antarctic hydrothermal vents identified Watch

Image of The Kiwa tyleri must spend its days in observance of these delicate laws of nature. If they get too close to the vent they will be scalded, but if they stray too far they freeze.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Kiwa tyleri is a furry breed of crab that is only found in the hydrothermal vents in Antarctica. The species can only thrive in water that is between 945 and 104 degrees in Antarctica - making it rare indeed. Growing to only two inches in length, the Kiwa ... continue reading


What ALL Americans need to know about the California drought Watch

Image of California grows and exports a majority of the fruits and nuts eaten by the rest of the country, so water shortages there affect food supply everywhere.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Entering its fourth year, the water shortage in California is being described as "extreme to exceptional drought." Everyone is expected to conserve - not just in California, but also in all surrounding states. Below are facts that everyone needs to know . LOS ... continue reading


Scientists discover amazing corals that adapt to climate change Watch

Image of The Coral Reef Southern Red Sea near Safaga Egypt.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have cross-bred corals coming from different latitude with variety of temperatures underwater and found that there are some corals that adapt better in climate change than others. With the rapid decline of coral reefs, experts are hoping that this new ... continue reading


Life on Mars: Are humans one step closer to living on Mars? Watch

Image of Is this the future home for humans?

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the pressing idea that humans have to find suitable life outside Earth in mind, many projects and experiments are being conducted to find a livable environment on Mars. The planet is not yet suitable to live on but a new project suggests that they may have the ... continue reading


Scientists literally could not make heads or tails of bizarre organism of Cambrian age Watch

Image of Researchers have since learned after using sophisticated imaging techniques that at the end the Hallucigenia's head long and slender neck resembling a hose-like tube.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A spiny little organism rightfully called the Hallucigenia sparsa - so hallucinogenic was it in appearance, had scientists scratching their heads, literally unable to make heads or tails of it. Living in the Cambrian age of 508 million years ago, the ... continue reading


Running late? No worries, we get an extra second this month - Find out why Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Earth runs in an inconsistent speed, so to synch it up with the atomic clock, June 30, 2015 will be longer by a second. This extra second, added after midnight, is called a leap second. This is not the first time extra time has been added in order for several ... continue reading


Will lions soon face extinction? A shocking 23,000 animal species now nearing extinction Watch

Image of Lions are just one of the 23,000 species facing extinction. Others include the New Zealand Sea Lion.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The king of the jungle, the mighty lion, the African Golden Cat, the New Zealand Sea Lion and two crab species, namely Karstama balicum and Karstama emdi, are just a few out of nearly 23,000 species now facing extinction, according to the International Union for the ... continue reading


NASA releases surprising images from dwarf planet, Ceres Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dawn spacecraft's recently acquired photos of Ceres, reveal a surprising pyramid-shaped form on the surface of the dwarf planet. The mound is being described like a lone mountain. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Ceres, the dwarf planet, is 590 miles ... continue reading


What to expect: Scientists believe we are entering the 'sixth great extinction' Watch

Image of According to the research team, species are disappearing at a rate 100 times faster than would normally be expected... and this is a conservative estimate.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers declare that Earth is entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity. While previous periods of extinction were due to the whims of Mother Nature, this "sixth great extinction" is manmade - and we could all be gone within three generations. LOS ... continue reading


Human extinction in 100 years -- Scientist fears it is too late to make any meaningful changes Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five years ago, Australian microbiologist, Dr. Frank Fenner, warned of the possible human extinction in a hundred years over blatant environmental degradation and overuse. Now, engineer and science writer David Auerbach went over the idea of human extinction again and ... 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, Genesis 19:15-29
15 When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
2 Probe me, Yahweh, examine me, Test my heart and my ... Read More

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

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2015 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of ... 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