Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/17/2014 (3 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 (3 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Green

Greenhouse gas emissions predicted to hit historic highs Watch

Image of Smog in China, a nation which produces more than 10 billion tons of greenhouse gas, more than that of the U.S. and Europe combined.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recently released study shows that greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil-fuel fuels and cement production will reach a record high this year, fueled primarily by rapid growth in Chinese industries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Global ... continue reading


100,000 march to stop climate change in New York Watch

Image of A woman protests the development of the tar sands pipeline through the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tens of thousands gathered in the streets of New York on September 22, as part of an international day of protest on climate change, and event organizers predicted it was the largest protest about the issue in five years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Scientists call upon Pope Francis to take the lead on climate change Watch

Image of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church could change attitudes on an important topic.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Historically, the Catholic Church has been accused of being anti-science. This is a lie. The Catholic Church is pro-truth and in cases where science was not yet established, the Church has demurred or cautioned. Yet in cases where the science is established, the Church ... continue reading


Sunday's global warming march displays everything that's wrong with global warming activism Watch

Image of Displays like this are both absurd and counterproductive. The discussion about global warming needs to move from political rhetoric to one informed by ethics and moral guidance.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This Sunday, thousands of climate activists will march on the streets of New York, in an effort to rekindle due concern over the environment. While the cause appears noble, the entire effort may be off to a doomed start. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This Sunday, ... continue reading


Just in time for Halloween! 'Werewolf' cat enchanting fanciers Watch

Image of The cats' sickly appearance is only skin deep. Aside from the patchy hair that makes them notable, the first few generations of Lykoi cats seem rather healthy thus far.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gaining in popularity among cat fanciers and breeders, the "Lykoi" cat is most peculiar looking. Many would instantly assume the patchy critter is inflicted with a sort of mange. The "Lykoi" cat, or "werewolf" cat is in fact carefully raised for its unusual ... continue reading


Antarctic sea ice reaches record levels and why that's bad Watch

Image of Antarctic sea ice continues to expand by about 1.5 percent coverage every year. This trend has continued since 1979 and it thought to be driven by global warming.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Research ships and other vessels traveling through Antarctic waters will have to be very careful this year because Antarctic ice has expanded rapidly, increasing the hazard to ships. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An incredible quantity of sea ice has formed ... continue reading


Terrifying new discovery: Spinosaurus dinosaur was the largest predator ever to walk the Earth Watch

Image of The monster's most distinctive feature was a row of spines that created an enormous sail down the middle of its back. Scientists think it was used for display purposes rather than to trap heat or store fat.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Described as a cross between a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a crocodile and a whale, the Spinosaurus was the largest predator ever to walk the Earth . or swim in its rivers. A recent discovery, the fierce beast is the first dinosaur known to have been adapted to an ... continue reading


VIDEO: Amazing video catches volcanic eruption along with sonic boom Watch

Image of Mount Tavurvur is known as a rather active volcano, one that caused many deaths and covered a nearby town in ash in 1994.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mount Tavurvur, a volcano in Papua New Guinea, erupted late last month on August 29, throwing ash high into the air and causing a shock wave and resultant sonic boom. Phil McNamara caught the rare sight while boating near the New Guinea coast. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Sun spits STORM OF FIRE at Earth, will the northern lights be visible? Watch

Image of The Sun has an 11-year cycle of activity and is presently at its maximum for the current cycle.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A powerful solar storm approaching Earth should not be a direct hit, removing much cause for alarm. On Wednesday, the Sun spewed an X1.6 class solar flare aimed right at Earth, but the bulk of the resulting coronal mass ejection appears on track to miss Earth, passing ... continue reading


Deforestation of the Amazon continues at an alarming rate despite Brazil's best policies Watch

Image of Illegal logging has become an incredibly large part of the deforestation problem.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Brazilian government has released figures which reveal that destruction of the world's largest rainforest accelerated last year by 29%, totally reversing gains made since 2009. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The figures were compiled from satellite data ... 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, Proverbs 3:27-34
27 Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
2 Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:16-18
16 'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Thomas of Villanueva
September 22: Augustinian bishop. Born at Fuentellana, Castile, Spain, he was ... 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