Climate Change and West Antarctica

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Details

Date
Tuesday, October 14 2014 - 12:00 pm, PDT
Speaker
David H. Bromwich
Affiliation
Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University
Description

Thwaites Glacier, West AntarcticaAbstract:

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet contains the ice equivalent of 5 meters of sea level and is slowly adding to the rise of global ocean levels. It is now thought that the ice sheet is undergoing irreversible marine ice sheet collapse. The primary cause is bottom melting of coastal ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea sector driven by oceanic and/or atmospheric factors. In addition, the air temperature over the ice sheet interior has risen substantially over the past 50 years at a rate comparable to that recorded on the adjacent Antarctic Peninsula. There are many tropical and high latitude influences at play governing the atmospheric and oceanic behavior in this part of the world. The talk will lay out what is happening to West Antarctica at present and what may happen in the future as worldwide temperatures continue to increase.

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