Roundup: Glacier dynamics, retreat in Turkey, and theological meaning

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015

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Before and after: Glacier dynamics and the collapse of ice shelves in Antartica 

“Following the disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, in 2002, regular surveillance of its ∼20 tributary glaciers has revealed a response which is varied and complex in both space and time. The major outlets have accelerated and thinned, smaller glaciers have shown little or no change, and glaciers flowing into the remnant Scar Inlet Ice Shelf have responded with delay… Through this study, we seek to improve confidence in our numerical models and their ability to capture the complex mechanical coupling between floating ice shelves and grounded ice.”

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The Larsen B ice shelf began disintegrating around Jan. 31, 2002. NASA’s MODerate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captured this image on Feb. 17, 2002. Credit: MODIS, NASA's Earth Observatory

The Larsen B ice shelf began disintegrating around Jan. 31, 2002. NASA’s MODerate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captured this image on Feb. 17, 2002. Credit: MODIS, NASA’s Earth Observatory

 

Turkish glaciers disappearing

“Researchers and citizens have known for some time that Turkey’s glaciers are shrinking. Now scientists have calculated the losses and found that more than half of the ice cover in this mountainous country has vanished since the 1970s. A team of researchers from Ege University (Turkey) and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center analyzed four decades of Landsat satellite data to document this steady decline. The team, led by Dogukan Dogu Yavasli (Ege), published their results in June 2015 in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment.”

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The map above shows the proportional percent change of the 14 main Turkish glaciers that existed in the 1970s. Over 40 years, the total glacial area fell from 25 square kilometers (10 square miles) in the 1970s to 10.85 km2(4.19 mi2) in 2012-2013. Five of the glaciers have completely disappeared. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

“The map above shows the proportional percent change of the 14 main Turkish glaciers that existed in the 1970s. Over 40 years, the total glacial area fell from 25 square kilometers (10 square miles) in the 1970s to 10.85 km2(4.19 mi2) in 2012-2013. Five of the glaciers have completely disappeared.” Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

 

Central Asian expedition revisited

“The De Filippi expedition reached Bombay in August 1913, and, during the next 12 months, carried out extensive explorations of Western Himalaya, Karakorum, and Chinese Turkestan. There are several reasons for remembering the De Filippi expedition to Central Asia: (1) a real interest in a past and present neuralgic area comprising several states, in particular Pakistan, China, and India, (2) the renewed attention in the subject of exploration and Italy’s special contribution in this field, (3) the need—now finally acknowledged—to protect and make appropriate use of our scientific heritage, and (4) an interest in new forms of tourism… One hundred years after the expedition, we focus the attention on the scientific results obtained by persons that we do not hesitate to define as extraordinary, but now partly forgotten.”

More here.

Karakorum Highway, Xinjiang. Credit: Peter Morgan, Flickr

Karakorum Highway, Xinjiang. Credit: Peter Morgan, Flickr

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