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With Help From GRACE, NASA Found Antarctic Melting

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  • MikeSar
    NASA Satellites Detect Unexpected Ice Loss in East Antarctica ScienceDaily (Nov. 26, 2009) — Using gravity measurement data from the NASA/German Aerospace
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2010
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      NASA Satellites Detect Unexpected Ice Loss in East Antarctica

      ScienceDaily (Nov. 26, 2009) — Using gravity measurement data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, a team of scientists from the University of Texas at Austin has found that the East Antarctic ice sheet-home to about 90 percent of Earth's solid fresh water and previously considered stable-may have begun to lose ice.

      The team used Grace data to estimate Antarctica's ice mass between 2002 and 2009. Their results, published Nov. 22 in the journal Nature Geoscience, found that the East Antarctic ice sheet is losing mass, mostly in coastal regions, at an estimated rate of 57 gigatonnes a year. A gigatonne is one billion metric tons, or more than 2.2 trillion pounds. The ice loss there may have begun as early as 2006. The study also confirmed previous results showing that West Antarctica is losing about 132 gigatonnes of ice per year.

      "While we are seeing a trend of accelerating ice loss in Antarctica, we had considered East Antarctica to be inviolate," said lead author and Senior Research Scientist Jianli Chen of the university's Center for Space Research. "But if it is losing mass, as our data indicate, it may be an indication the state of East Antarctica has changed. Since it's the biggest ice sheet on Earth, ice loss there can have a large impact on global sea level rise in the future."

      NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., developed the twin Grace satellites. The University of Texas Center for Space Research in Austin has overall Grace mission responsibility. Grace was launched in 2002.

      More information on Grace is online at http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace/ and http://grace.jpl.nasa.gov/ .

      -------------------------------BayPointMike wrote:
      And some people are upset because, by mistake, another agency claimed all Glaciers will be gone by 2030 and they had to recant for public humiliation.
      Yet, nobody knew, until GRACE told us, that the Antarctic is losing mass. When did the press tell us about the 300 lakes of liquid water under the ice in the Antarctic? Will this water, at the bottom of the ice, lubricate the solid ice and speed up its descent into the ocean? Will that put San Francisco Embarcadero and Airport under water?
      Are the press watchers that found the error on the last year of life for glaciers sure that 2030 is Wrong? The Northwest Passage from Europe to Oakland will be open by 2020, will we be ready to handle the influx of containers brought with this 12,000 mile SHORTER route? Or, will we wait and see? I think we'll wait!
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