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In the News

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is in trouble – but the ground beneath it may buy some time

25 June 2018

Working in West Antarctica is profoundly humbling. We scientists work from tiny field camps incongruously airdropped onto a vast plain of kilometers-thick glacial ice extending from horizon to horizon. It is initially difficult to conceive that this vast polar desert icescape could drastically change over the course of a human lifetime.

Read more at: https://theconversation.com/the-west-antarctic-ice-sheet-is-in-trouble-but-the-ground-beneath-it-may-buy-some-time-98368

Earth’s squishy interior gives rapid rise to Antarctica

22 June 2018

Parts of Earth’s crust are rising very slowly owing to post-glacial rebound, but using GPS, researchers have found that West Antarctica is rising faster than almost anywhere else in the world. And, ESA’s GOCE gravity mission has, in turn, helped them to understand that the mantle below is unusually fluid.

Read more at: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/GOCE/Earth_s_squishy_interior_gives_rapid_rise_to_Antarctica

Rare good news: bedrock rise may slow ice melt

22 June 2018

In what appears to be rare good news for sea level rise, bedrock underneath parts of West Antarctica is rising at a rate of 41 millimetres per year, or more than four metres per century, scientists say.

Read more at: https://cosmosmagazine.com/geoscience/rare-good-news-bedrock-rise-may-slow-ice-melt

Bedrock in Antarctica rising at surprisingly rapid rate

21 June 2018

The earth is rising in one part of Antarctica at one of the fastest rates ever recorded, as ice rapidly disappears and weight is lifted off the bedrock, a new international study has found.

Read more at: https://news.osu.edu/news/2018/06/21/bedrock-uplift/

Antarctic ice sheet is melting, but rising bedrock below could slow it down

21 June 2018

An international team led by DTU Space at the Technical University of Denmark with Colorado State University has found that the bedrock below the remote West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than previously thought, in response to ongoing ice melt.

Read more at: https://warnercnr.source.colostate.edu/antarctic-ice-sheet-is-melting-but-rising-bedrock-below-could-slow-it-down/

For once, scientists found good news about West Antarctica

21 June 2018

At least since 2014, the news has been dire: The West Antarctic ice sheet is losing ice, and its retreat may be unstoppable. It may be only a matter of time (granted, maybe a very long time) before it adds as much as 10 feet to global sea-level rise. Already, ice loss in the region is accelerating, nearly tripling in the past 10 years alone.

Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/06/21/for-once-scientists-found-some-good-news-about-west-antarctica/?utm_term=.03565f2e2baf

Land uplift ‘could prevent’ collapse of West Antarctic ice sheet

21 June 2018

The rapid rise of bedrock beneath one of the fastest melting regions of the West Antarctic ice sheet could help prevent it collapsing, new research suggests.

Read more at: https://www.carbonbrief.org/land-uplift-could-prevent-collapse-west-antarctic-ice-sheet

Antarctica Is Getting Taller, and Here’s Why

21 June 2018

Bedrock under Antarctica is rising more swiftly than ever recorded — about 1.6 inches (41 millimeters) upward per year. And thinning ice in Antarctica may be responsible.

Read more at: https://www.livescience.com/62885-earth-rising-under-antarctica.html

Rising bedrock below West Antarctica could delay catastrophic ice sheet collapse

21 June 2018

The news last week out of Antarctica was sobering. According to a consensus estimate published in Nature, the continent has lost 3 trillion tons of ice in the past 25 years—most of it from the vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet, where the loss rate tripled over the study period. Although West Antarctica contributed just 6 millimeters of sea level rise in that time, scientists say ice-sheet collapse there could raise global sea levels by 3 meters in the coming centuries. The accelerating loss could be a sign that the catastrophe has already been set in motion.

Read more at: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/rising-bedrock-below-west-antarctica-could-delay-catastrophic-ice-sheet-collapse

West Antarctica’s Springy Bedrock Is Some Rare Good News for Its Ice

21 June 2018

A team of scientists has learned that the ground beneath West Antarctica’s most vulnerable glaciers is weirdly bouncy. The finding suggests this critical sector of the ice sheet might have a hidden defense against runaway collapse, but how much that helps us depends on if we take action to rein in climate change.

Read more at: https://earther.com/west-antarcticas-springy-bedrock-is-some-rare-good-news-1826963414

Greenland ice sheet melting 7% faster than believed, says new GPS study

22 September 2016

A new study based on GPS measurements of the Earth's crust suggests the Greenland ice sheet is melting about seven per cent faster than previously believed and may contribute more to future sea level rise than predicted.

"We've underestimated the rate of ice loss by about 7.6 per cent," said Michael Bevis of The Ohio State University, one of the study's co-authors.

Read more at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/greenland-ice-sheet-melting-faster-gps-study-1.3772685

Greenland's huge annual ice loss is even worse than thought

21 September 2016

The huge annual losses of ice from the Greenland cap are even worse than thought, according to new research which also shows that the melt is not a short-term blip but a long-term trend.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/21/greenlands-huge-annual-ice-loss-is-even-worse-than-thought

Sub-Glacial Lakes in Greenland are Draining

29 January 2015

POLENET principal investigator Mike Bevis talks with CBC Radio about the discovery that sub-glacial lakes in Greenland are draining, impacting the stability of the ice sheet and sea level.

Listen to the Interview »

Ice loss pushing Antarctica side-wards half an inch per year, according to GPS recordings

13 December 2013

Heavy ice loss in West Antarctica has weakened it mantle underneath, allowing the stronger East Antarctica mantle to push it around, according to Ohio State University researchers. The discovery was made after recording GPS measurements, which clearly showed that the West Antarctic bedrock is being pushed at an alarming rate of half an inch per year.



East Antarctica is sliding sideways: Ice loss on West Antarctica affecting mantle flow below

11 December 2013

It's official: East Antarctica is pushing West Antarctica around. Now that West Antarctica is losing weight—that is, billions of tons of per year—its softer mantle rock is being nudged westward by the harder mantle beneath East Antarctica.

Active Volcano Discovered Under Ice Sheet in West Antarctica

18 November 2013

U.S. seismologists have made a surprising discovery near Mount Sidley in Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica – an active volcano smoldering under 1.2 km thick ice.


Volcano under Antarctic ice may erupt, accelerate melting

17 November 2013

A newly discovered volcano rumbling beneath nearly a mile of ice in Antarctica will almost certainly erupt at some point in the future, according to a new study. Such an event could accelerate the flow of ice into the sea and push up the already rising global sea levels.


 The Battle for the North Pole: Melting Ice Brings Competition for Resources

Spiegel Online

19 September 2008

Climate change is freeing the Arctic of ice -- and spurring a global competition for the natural resources stored beneath. Countries that border the sea are staking new territorial claims and oil giants are dispatching geologists. But what will the tug-of-war mean for the indigenous people and wildlife?


Researchers brave Antarctica's wind, chill, to track climate change at the bottom of the world

The Columbus Dispatch

12 January 2008

Antarctica is home to some of the coldest, windiest places on Earth. When the sun disappears in the winter, temperatures dip to 76 below zero and the breezes blow in at 115 mph. Scientists and their equipment simply can't survive there.

Read more »

Plane crash won't keep OSU scientist off the ice

The Columbus Dispatch

12 January 2008

On Dec. 20, a National Science Foundation-chartered plane in Antarctica crashed during takeoff from a field site near Mount Patterson in West Antarctica. None of the 10 people (a crew of four crew and six passengers) aboard was severely injured, but the DC-3 Basler did sustain heavy damage. OSU research associate Eric Kendrick was aboard with five other Polar Earth Observing Network researchers.

Read more »

Scientists explore ice caps

The Lantern

15 January 2008

Like most scientists heading up large projects, earth sciences professor, Terry Wilson has her share of problems: looking after her scientists, writing grant proposals, making sure research is done on time. Unlike most researchers, she has to concern herself with the physical survival of her team, which is racing against months of unrelenting darkness to install sites that will monitor the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in a study that could prove integral to the understanding of the melting ice caps. So far the team has coped with everything from freezing temperatures to heavy gear and time constraints.

Read more »

As Ice Melts, Antarctic Bedrock is On the Move

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As ice melts away from Antarctica, parts of the continental bedrock are rising in response -- and other parts are sinking, scientists have discovered. The finding will give much needed perspective to satellite instruments that measure ice loss on the continent, and help improve estimates of future sea level rise. These results are being derived from the building of POLENET, a growing network of Global positioning system (GPS) trackers and seismic sensors implanted in the bedrock beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), reoccupying sites previously measured by the West Antarctic GPS Network (WAGN) and the Transantarctic Mountains Deformation (TAMDEF) network.

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As Alaska Glaciers Melt, It's Land That's Rising

16 May 2009

JUNEAU, Alaska - Global warming conjures images of rising seas that threaten coastal areas. But in Juneau, as almost nowhere else in the world, climate change is having the opposite effect: As the glaciers here melt, the land is rising, causing the sea to retreat...

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POLENET featured on radio program 'Earth and Sky'

9 March 2009

Listen to POLENET's lead scientist on this weeks radio short program 'Earth and Sky'. Earth and Sky is heard 14 million times a day.

Listen now »

ICE STORIES: Pulse of the Poles

The vast ice fields of Antarctica and Greenland cloak many mysteries of how the underlying bedrock has responded to the growth and retreat of crushing ice sheets. Up to now, scientists have gleaned slivers of insight by collecting seasonal data from exposed mountain ranges and isolated rocky outcroppings, called nunataks. During the International Polar Year, scientists and engineers from 28 countries are instrumenting the length and breadth of Antarctica and Greenland to form a network of sensors, called POLENET (Polar Earth Observing Network) that will continuously monitor the earth beneath the ice.

Read more »