First, NASA Explorer tells its channel's viewers to Ask a Climate Scientist.
Have a question that's always confounded you about Earth's climate? Wonder why it matters that the climate is changing now if it has changed before? Or how scientists know changes seen in recent decades are the result of human activities, not natural causes?NASA has at least one answer video that I'll post later this week or early next.
Go ahead. Ask a climate scientist.
NASA scientists will be recording video responses to some of the questions we receive. The responses will be posted to the NASAExplorer YouTube channel.
To submit a question, record a short, 10-15 second video with your question and upload it to YouTube -- and be sure to tag the video "#askclimate" so that we can find it. You can also simply post a question on Twitter with the same hashtag, "#askclimate."
Next, Rutgers Biologist Analyzes Glacial Microorganisms for Climate Change Clues.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
CAMDEN — On the surface, glaciers are massive bodies of ice that continue to slowly carve out the Earth’s landscape, but what goes unseen beneath these frozen rivers are entire communities of microbial life that could be playing a key role in glacial melting.Rutgers scientists aren't the only ones from campuses on the campaign trail studying the effect of climate change on glaciers. New York University does as well in Antarctic Reseach Details Ice Melt Below Massive Glacier.
“Glaciers are an interesting thing to study to try and understand an entire ecosystem in its full complexity, from microorganisms to algae to animals,” says Andrey Grigoriev, a professor of biology at Rutgers–Camden. “We want to determine what species live there and to figure out the structure of the glacial ecosystem.”
In the first stage of his project, Grigoriev is taking an intimate look at Alaska’s Byron Glacier, located some 48 miles south of Anchorage (and more than 4,000 miles from Rutgers–Camden).
September 12, 2013
An expedition of international scientists to the far reaches of Antarctica’s remote Pine Island Glacier has yielded exact measurements of an undersea process glaciologists have long called the “biggest source of uncertainty in global sea level projections.”Not to be outdone, the other research university in NYC, Columbia University posted Summer Heat Wave May Have Triggered Landslide on Lonely Alaskan Glacier.
The research, which appears in the latest issue of Science magazine, was conducted by scientists at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, Calif., the University of Alaska, Pennsylvania State University, NASA, and the British Antarctic Survey.
The article details the landmark results of the Pine Island Glacier expedition, giving scientists an extensive look beneath the ice at one of the most remote research sites on the planet – a site whose fate could affect the lives of millions.
“Intensive melting under the Pine Island ice shelf, as observed in our study, could potentially lead to the speed up and ultimate break-up of the ice shelf,” says David Holland of NYU’s Courant Institute and one of the paper’s co-authors. “That’s important, as this ice shelf is currently holding back inland ice, and without that restraining force, the Pine Island catchment basin could further contribute to global sea-level rise.”
September 10, 2013
A massive landslide in Alaska’s snowy Wrangell-St. Elias mountain range in July may have been caused by a summer heat wave making some slopes more vulnerable to collapse, says the scientist who first discovered the avalanche.I told my students in Environmental Science this week that climate change would be most visible near the poles. This research shows what I said is true.
“Most of the big landslides that I’ve worked on in Alaska from 1999 to now have been south-facing, summer-time failures,” Colin Stark, a geophysicist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory told NASA’s Earth Observatory. “My suspicion is that this landslide was probably caused by sustained daytime warming and progressive melting of rock permafrost.”
The slide let loose some 35 million tons of rock and debris, a collapse that registered on the global seismic network and was detected within hours by Stark and his colleagues Göran Ekström and Clément Hilbert from the Lamont campus in Palisades, N.Y. The July 25 landslide was confirmed by pictures taken by NASA satellites before and after the event.