Water from the world’s shrinking glaciers was responsible for almost a third of the rise in sea levels between 2003 and 2009, shows new research.
An international team of scientist compared data gleaned from two NASA satellites as well as traditional ground measurements from glaciers around the world.
Their work, published in the journal Science , is the most accurate estimation of how glaciers contribute to sea level rises to date.
“For the first time, we’ve been able to very precisely constrain how much these glaciers as a whole are contributing to sea rise,” says lead author Assistant Professor Alex Gardner, assistant geography professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“These smaller ice bodies are currently losing about as much mass as the ice sheets.”
The most significant ice losses occurred in Arctic Canada, Alaska, coastal Greenland, the southern Andes and the Himalayas, the study found.
The glaciers outside of the Greenland and Antarctic sheets lost an average of roughly 260 billion metric tons of ice annually during the period, leading to a rise in ocean levels of about 0.7 millimeters per year.
By contrast the glaciers in Antarctica, smaller ice masses that are not connected to the ice sheet, made scarcely any contribution to sea-level rise over the study period.
Note that sea level rise is uneven, and effects coastlines with high degrees of variability. Some coast will experience more rise and erosion, some less.
Even Freakier Friday: Climate Change over the last 2000 years. Check out the HUGE uptick at the far right. In science talk, that translates to “VERY RECENTLY.”
(Source: Mother Jones)
Yeah, but it snowed in DC in March, guys, so climate change isn’t real.
Before the Flood Is An Interactive Cinematic Experience Exploring A Subterranean World
Cinema as a reactive experience is what’s explored in the latest installation from one of the teams at our New Cinema hackathon, which took place at the end of last year—a collaboration between The Creators Project, Eyebeam, and Framestore.
I’ve posted a lot on Venice, Italy over the past two years. (Indeed, it was in Italy I met a devil-witch succubus who tried to devour my soul with gypsy voodoo). Since then, I’ve posted:
- pictures from when I toured Venice,
- speculated if Venice should be abandoned completely,
- my favorite post: How Venice Works (great if you love urban planning)
- posted mind-blowing slides-shows of recent floods,
- and showed that researchers think Venice is sinking faster than predicted.
Now, Al Jazeera reports that engineers are in the final assembly stages of building a gigantic sea-wall.
The Italian city of Venice has become almost as famous for its flood problems as for its gondolas in recent years. A combination of subsidence and rising sea levels have seen St Mark’s Square submerged on an alarmingly regular basis. But an answer could be on the horizon as a multi-billion-dollar flood defence system is nearing completion. Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports from Venice.
Venice is located in a lagoon protected by a thin island peninsula. The peninsula has three openings that allow the ocean tides to come in and out. When the seas rose from a big storm, the sea would push more water into the lagoon than usual, flooding the city with no streets. The sea-wall is built at each of these three openings.
Thus, the sea-wall is expected to prevent flooding in Venice. It’s to be left open for much of the year, allowing the tides to operate normally. When the weather turns for the worst and the seas get too high the wall will close off the lagoon.
This is one way cities can adapt to sea-level rise and changing weather patterns. Cities can fund custom built engineering solutions tailored to their particular geographies, assets, and environmental/climate issues.
The problem with the Venice sea-wall is that engineers did not think the sea would rise 4x the predicted amount. The walls were built with 20cm rise in mind. Climate scientists now predict an 80cm rise in sea levels, making the wall (eventually) unusable. In other words, sea-level rise is occurring faster than expected, making this $7 billion engineering project a short-term fix. A fix that only delays inevitable doom for Venice…
Hurricane Sandy hits the CaribbeanA selection of pictures showing the impact of Category 2 Hurricane Sandy on its passage across the Caribbean.
- A boy puts his feet into over-sized Wellington boots as heavy rains from Hurricane Sandy pour down in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Hurricane Sandy has claimed at least nine lives in Haiti.
- A driver maneuvers his classic American car along a wet road as a wave crashes against the Malecon in Havana on Thursday. This picture is reminiscent of Hurricane Flora way back in 1963.
- Residents of Kingston try to cross the Hope River after a bridge was washed out by Hurricane Sandy. One person was killed as the storm swept across the island.
- People walk near to a damaged building in Santiago de Cuba. Hurricane Sandy then strengthened and took aim for the Bahamas after hammering Cuba’s second-largest city.
- A man eats out of his flooded house in the La Barquita neighborhood in Santo Domingo as Hurricane Sandy barreled toward the Bahamas as a powerful Category 2 storm.
- In this image taken by NOAA, Hurricane Sandy is seen in the center bottom. The hurricane has killed at least 40 people in the Caribbean, and just left the Bahamas. When Sandy becomes a hybrid weather monster some call “Frankenstorm”, it will smack the US harder and wider than last year’s damaging Irene, forecasters say.
As New York City prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, stocks up on essentials, shuts down its public transport system and evacuates 375,000 residents living in low lying areas, there is one part of the city’s population of 8.5 million people that is still roaming the streets: the homeless.
46,631 of them seek refuge every night in the city’s often criticized shelter system, and those are the ones that manage to get in. Many more stay out in the streets. Some, because there simply aren’t enough beds, others because the system - to address the chronic shortage of space - has become a byzantine labyrinth of rules and procedures for them to deal with, and finally many of the LGBT community who feel their sexual orientation exposes them to significant risks from other shelter inhabitants.
James, 43, from Harlem is one such homeless I encounter sitting outside an upscale grocery store on Sunday night, as Hurricane Sandy approaches the city, in the gentrified section of Harlem called Morningside. He is panhandling from the last few passersby hurring past in the rising winds of the approaching storm. As he sees my camera he wants to talk and so I ask him why he hasn’t sought refuge from the storm yet.
“I can’t go back to the shelter system for another two months,” he explains.
“Why?” I ask and point out that the city has just opened 76 emergency shelters around the five boroughs as part of their hurricane preparedness plan.
“Once you’ve been in the system for 18 months you can’t go back there for at least one year,” James responds. “Only once you’ve been out for a year, can you be classified as longterm homeless, and therefore get access to additional assistance.”
“But what about the emergency shelters? You cannot go to those either?” I ask again.
“No, they don’t want us there. These shelters are for the good folks, the families that get evacuated. There is no room in there for me.”
“Have you tried?” I ask, pointing out that there are 73,000 beds available, and last I heard only about 1,000 had been taken.
“I couldn’t get help during Irene,” James responds. “So, I’m not gonna bother this time. I can’t get into the trains and seek shelter there, because the subways are shut down.”
Firefighters going car to car on Avenue C to make sure no one is trapped inside. Bless them.
This is the kind of insane stuff people didn’t think would happen with this storm. Buzzfeed’s Tumblr is telling some powerful stories right now. Highly recommend you go there and follow it closely.
Havana, Oct 29 (Prensa Latina) - Cuban authorities intensify recovery efforts after the passage of Hurricane Sandy last Thursday, which hit the eastern region and left heavy rains in the center of the country. Other regions of the island send aid to the Cuban Eastern provinces, after the passage of the storm, which affected agriculture, housing, electricity and telephone service in that region.
Due to the tremendous efforts of the recuperation phase, in Holguin electricity has been reestablished to 61.8 percent of consumers. In this regard, in Granma the electric service has been restored to a 94.9 percent of its inhabitants, while in Guantanamo it has been restored to a 55.65 percent.
In Santiago de Cuba, the second most populated province with more than one million inhabitants and the most affected by the storm, nine circuits have partial services in the provincial capital city, according to the director general of the Electrical Union, Raul Garcia.
Given the impact of the climatological phenomenon, Cuban President Raul Castro visited central provinces affected by Sandy’s rains and Santiago de Cuba city.
In coordination with the Ministry of Transport, 14 tons of malanga for medical diets were sent to Santiago de Cuba from Ciego de Avila, 500 tonnes of bananas will be transported by road for its distribution from Camagüey to Guantánamo.
In the central provinces affected by the rains and floods, everything is getting back to normal with the return of thousands of evacuees to their homes.
‘Stay off the streets’: NYC mayor as Sandy wreaks havoc on East Coast
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says backup power has been lost at New York University hospital and the city is working to move people out as Cyclone Sandy wreaks havoc in much of the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
The mayor delivered a news conference Monday night and said rain was tapering off in the city and the storm surge was expected to recede by midnight.
He urged residents not to call 911 unless it was an emergency and implored them to stay off the roads so emergency vehicles could get around.
Photo: A man in snorkelling gear wades through the flooded streets of Brooklyn, New York, October 29. (Gary He/Reuters)