Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/17/2014 (10 months 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 (10 months 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 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.


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


Comments


More Green

What NASA found on Mars will shock you! Watch

Image of Liquid water has been found in Martian soil, but that doesn't mean life is likely to be found.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is liquid water on Mars, Nasa has announced following tests done by the Curiosity rover. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This news contradicts decades of thought that Earth's neighbor was too cold and arid for liquid water to exist, and may mean that ... continue reading


Experts fear massive asteroid will hit Earth in next 3 years Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A huge asteroid, with an estimated size of 10 to 40m, is expected to come in contact with Earth, closer than it did the last time. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Asteroid 2012 TC4 was approximated at about the size of the Statue of Liberty from the torch ... continue reading


Gray whale swims from Russia to Mexico in 172 days, breaking all known records Watch

Image of Before Vavara's accomplishment, the title of the longest-migrating mammal belonged to the humpback whale.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A female western gray whale from Russia now holds the record as the mammal with the longest known migration, researchers say. Named Vavara, which is the Russian equivalent fro "Barbara," the plucky whale swam a total of 13,988 miles in 172 days. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Are farmers stealing precious water away from California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta? Watch

Image of As California enters the fourth year of drought, huge amounts of water are mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and farmers whose families for generations have tilled fertile soil there are the prime suspects.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Entering its fourth year of drought, large amounts of water is mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Farmers who have used the delta for generations are the prime suspects. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Complaints from two large ... continue reading


Small songbirds complete extraordinary nonstop flights across the Atlantic Ocean Watch

Image of The blackpoll warbler songbirds (Setophaga striata) migrate every autumn from Vermont and Nova Scotia in New England to Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Greater Antilles islands in South America.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Using backpack flight recorders, scientists have discovered that the blackpoll warbler songbirds are able fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. These tiny songbirds, weighing about 4.2 ounces (119 grams), were able to complete the flight without a stop for over 1,410 ... continue reading


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


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
13 It is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
2 Children of men, how long will you be heavy of ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 2:1-5
1 My children, I am writing this to prevent you from ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2015 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... 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