New evidence for what triggers ice sheet calving

  • 28 February 2017
  • Number of views: 787
New evidence for what triggers ice sheet calving

NOAA-funded scientists found that warmer than normal ocean temperatures, rather than air temperatures, cause periods of rapid ice sheet calving known as Heinrich events. 

For decades, Heinrich events have puzzled scientists because they occurred during the cold portions of millennial climate cycles, rather than during warmer climates as expected.

Using an ice sheet model, University of Michigan researchers reported in Nature that warm ocean water weakens the edges of ice sheets, causing ice to rapidly break off into the ocean. The warm water is associated with variations in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the conveyor belt that carries warm and cold water around the globe.

These findings suggest that ice sheets touching warming oceans, such as the Greenland Ice Sheet and Antarctica, could be at risk of collapsing and raising sea levels more than most models currently predict.

This research was supported by the CPO Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program.

Access the paper:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v542/n7641/full/nature21069.html

 

Print

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
Contact

Dr. Annarita Mariotti
MAPP Program Director
P: 301-734-1237
E: annarita.mariotti@noaa.gov

Dr. Daniel Barrie
MAPP Program Manager
P: 301-734-1256
E: daniel.barrie@noaa.gov

Alison Stevens*
MAPP Program Specialist
P: 301-734-1218
E: alison.stevens@noaa.gov

Emily Read*
MAPP Program Assistant
P: 301-734-1257
E: emily.read@noaa.gov

  • Subscribe to our newsletter!



«January 2018»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
25262728293031
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234

ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION

Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.

CONTACT US

Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910

CPO.webmaster@noaa.gov