Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Warnings from a warming ocean

Warnings from a warming ocean


Changes taking place in the oceans around Antarctica could result in an abrupt rise in global sea level, according to a Victoria University of Wellington led study.

Dr Nick Golledge, a senior research fellow at Victoria’s Antarctic Research Centre, alongside a team of scientists from Victoria University, GNS Science and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, is trying to understand the way that the Antarctic ice sheet responds to ocean warming.

Together they used sophisticated ice sheet and climate models to recreate the Antarctic ice sheet as it came out of the last ice age, when both the ocean and the atmosphere warmed quickly.

The results, published by the online journal Nature Communications (http://bit.ly/1roi2vM), suggest that oceanic changes might trigger a significant shift in the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet, which Dr Golledge says could lead to an increase in global sea level.

Using geological data to verify their model results, they found that when the ocean around Antarctica became more stratified, or layered, warm water at depth melted the ice sheet faster than when the ocean was less stratified.

A dramatic example of this process occurred around 14,000 years ago, and led to an abrupt rise in global sea level of nearly three metres over just a few centuries. Dr Golledge says current oceanographic observations around Antarctica show the ocean is once again becoming more stratified.

“At the surface the water is getting colder and less salty, with more extensive sea ice occurring in some areas. But the deeper ocean is warming, and is already accelerating the decline of glaciers such as Pine Island and Totten,” he says.

“Whether the ice sheet will react to these changing ocean conditions as rapidly as it did 14,000 years ago is unclear, but with 10 percent of the world's population living less than 10 metres above present sea-level, this study highlights the need to better define the complex relationship between Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.”


endws

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Mycoplasma Bovis: More Properties Positive

One of the latest infected properties is in the Hastings district, the other three are within a farming enterprise in Winton. The suspect property is near Ashburton. More>>

ALSO:

Manawatū Gorge Alternative: More Work Needed To Choose Route

“We are currently working closely and in partnership with local councils and other stakeholders to make the right long-term decision. It’s vital we have strong support on the new route as it will represent a very significant long-term investment and it will need to serve the region and the country for decades to come.” More>>

ALSO:

RBNZ: Super Fund Chief To Be New Reserve Bank Governor

Adrian Orr has been appointed as Reserve Bank Governor effective from 27 March 2018, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

ScoopPro: Helping PR Professionals Get More Out Of Scoop

Scoop.co.nz has been a fixture of New Zealand’s news and Public Relations infrastructure for over 18 years. However, without the financial assistance of those using Scoop in a professional context in key sectors such as Public Relations and media, Scoop will not be able to continue this service... More>>

Insurance: 2017 Worst Year On Record For Weather-Related Losses

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) announced today that 2017 has been the most expensive year on record for weather-related losses, with a total insured-losses value of more than $242 million. More>>

ALSO: