It's widely documented that climate change is causing the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to shrink. Air temperatures in many parts of the polar regions have increased and waters that surround parts of the ice sheets have warmed up. What most do not know is that until just six years ago, we had no real way of measuring whether the ice sheets were shrinking or growing, or at what rate.
Today, advances in remote sensing, the use of highly sensitive instruments aboard satellites and aircraft, have enabled scientists to examine the mass balance of the ice sheets and to determine just where and how quickly the ice is growing or shrinking. Of particular importance is the mass balance of the ice sheet, which is the difference between how much ice it has lost versus gained over a period of time, and is a direct measure of an ice sheet's contribution to sea level rise.
A storm Wednesday dumped more than half a metre of snow on Colorado, bringing much of the state to a halt.
Schools, malls and offices were closed Thursday, the governor declared a state of emergency and 4,700 travellers spent the night at Denver International Airport after flights were cancelled.
When the massive tsunami hit the Indian Ocean two years ago and killed nearly a quarter of a million people, Israelis said that was one problem that wouldn't hit them.
But research conducted by Dr. Amos Salamon of the Geological Survey of Israel and colleagues in Italy and the US will report on Thursday that since before the Common Era, there have been two dozen tsunamis documented in the region and 11 on Israel's (illegal) coasts.
Authorities in El Salvador said today they had evacuated 90 people near the Guatemalan border after 193 small earthquakes caused minor damage to homes and widespread panic.
The earthquakes ranged between magnitude 2.3 and 4.3, according to the National Service of Territorial Studies. At least 90 of the tremors were felt by the population.
A series of ash spews has been registered from the crater of the Shiveluch volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.
One of the spews reached an altitude of 10 kilometres above the summit, the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN) told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
NARO MORU, Kenya -- Rivers of ice at the Equator -- foretold in the 2nd century, found in the 19th -- are now melting away in this new century, returning to the realm of lore and fading photographs.
From mile-high Naro Moru, villagers have watched year by year as the great glaciers of Mount Kenya, glinting in the equatorial sun high above them, have retreated into shrunken white stains on the rocky shoulders of the 16,897-foot peak.
Climbing up, "you can hear the water running down beneath Diamond and Darwin," mountain guide Paul Nditiru said, speaking of two of 10 surviving glaciers.
ABC NewsABC News
Tue, 19 Dec 2006 12:00 UTC
A large electromagnetic "storm" has broken out on the face of the sun, sending masses of charged subatomic particles through the space that surrounds planet Earth.Images from the SOHO space probe -- short for Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- showed a bright flare near the sun's equator on Wednesday, and another was reported by ground-based observatories today.
Several of SOHO's sensors were temporarily overwhelmed by the amount of radiation, engineers said.
Such flares, known as coronal mass ejections, are actually fairly common, scientists say. Earth is well protected by both its atmosphere and its magnetic field.
Previous estimates of how much the world's sea level will rise as a result of global warming may have seriously underestimated the problem, according to new research.
The study, published in Science, uses a new "semi-empirical" method instead of relying purely on computer modelling. While some modelling significantly underestimates the amount of sea-level rise that has already been seen over the last century, the new method matches the observed rise very closely, says Stefan Rahmstorf, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, who conducted the new study.
Mon, 18 Dec 2006 12:00 UTC
Tens of thousands of iconic Australian creatures including koalas and kangaroos may have died in fires that swept through vast tracts of southern Australia this week, environmentalists say.
The blazes have devastated thousands of hectares, razed clusters of homes and claimed one life since they began earlier this month.
But they will also leave a significant environmental legacy because of their impact on flora and fauna, according to Wildlife Victoria spokeswoman Sandy Fernee.
Mon, 18 Dec 2006 12:00 UTC
LOS ANGELES - The Pacific Northwest was on Saturday recovering from a violent windstorm as about 500,000 remained without power, officials said.
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed a state of emergency for the entire state, expanding one issued Friday night for 17 of the state's 39 counties, said Rob Harper of Washington State Emergency Management.
A break in the weather on Saturday allowed Oregon rescuers to renew their search for three missing hikers on Mount Hood but stormy weather expected overnight on Sunday gives them a limited search window, rescuers said.