The coldness and high salinity together make the water more dense, and it sinks deep into the ocean. What's hot in the news around climate and sea ice and what are scientists talking about now? Although they make up only 4% of the total land ice area, they may have contributed to as much as 30% of sea level change in the 20th century due to rapid ice volume reduction connected with global warming. At least some aspects of these climate changes may be deduced from observations of glacier fluctuations. Exactly how large that effect might be on the planet's health and respiratory system will continue to be a subject of great scientific and political debate—especially if the lines on the graph continue their upward trajectory. "These gases are a climate-change driver," says Tans, poking his graph definitively with his index finger. The projected economic and humanitarian impacts on low-lying, densely populated, and desperately poor countries like Bangladesh are potentially catastrophic. In the Nile Delta, where many of Egypt's crops are cultivated, widespread erosion and saltwater intrusion would be disastrous since the country contains little other arable land. Oceans, in effect, mimic some functions of the human circulatory system. This time series of the main parameters of glacier regime is available for use by the climate and hydrological communities and other scientific disciplines. Scientists who assess the planet's health see indisputable evidence that Earth has been getting warmer, in some cases rapidly. Despite their proximity and importance to human populations, the mountain and valley glaciers of tropical and mid-latitude glaciers amount to only a small fraction of glacial ice on the Earth. Last year, a team of British and American scientists set up camp on the glacier. By keeping an eye on Earth's ice from space, NASA satellites help us understand the global effects of climate change. Mont Blanc glacier melting at alarming rate due to climate change More The chunk of ice on the tallest mountain in Western Europe is breaking apart 10 times more quickly than anyone expected. Melting at Thwaites grounding zone and its control on sea level (MELT) MELT is an ice-based project to understand how warm waters are affecting the Thwaites Glacier at the grounding line – the point where the glacier goes afloat to become ice shelf. "This glacier used to be closer," Fagre declares as we crest a steep section, his glasses fogged from exertion. Everywhere on Earth ice is changing. Snow capped mountains of Zoji La pass seen from the Thajiwas Glacier in Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir. Meltwater is water released by the melting of snow or ice, including glacial ice, tabular icebergs and ice shelves over oceans. In North Africa, an Algerian monk at Assekrem does the same. The current trend is consequential not only in coastal Louisiana but around the world. We continue our tour. Scientists point out that sea levels have risen and fallen substantially over Earth's 4.6-billion-year history. The system of channels and levees along the Mississippi effectively stopped the millennia-old natural process of rebuilding the river delta with rich sediment deposits. "We have very significantly changed the atmospheric concentration of these gases. In the past decade scientists have documented record-high average annual surface temperatures and have been observing other signs of change all over the planet: in the distribution of ice, and in the salinity, levels, and temperatures of the oceans. For Brower, these words are the currency of hunters who must know and follow ice patterns to track bearded seals, walruses, and bowhead whales. Energy drilling removed vast quantities of subsurface liquid, which studies suggest increased the rate at which the land is sinking. Contributing to global sea level rise are thermal expansion of ocean water and melting glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets. Mass balance data have not been appropriately organized, i.e. This data set presents measurements of glacier mass balance from records collected over the history of mass balance measurement activity. We know their radiative properties," he says. As glaciers wax and wane, they store or release water; this "natural regulation" of runoff from glacierized areas is critical to water supply and use in many mountain areas. So far, the results have been positively chilling. Experts say that over the last 15 years, one of the glaciers, the Laohugou No 12 glacier, has shrunk by over 150m (492ft), accelerated by global warming and rising temperatures. Carbon dioxide level has climbed from about 315 parts per million (ppm) from Keeling's first readings in 1958 to more than 375 ppm today. Italy's Planpincieux glacier in the Mont Blanc mountain region is melting at an accelerated rate, alarming nearby residents in Aosta Valley. This combination of effects has played the major role in raising average global sea level between four and eight inches (10 and 20 centimeters) in the past hundred years, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "I don't think anybody down here looks at the sea-level-rise problem and puts their heads in the sand." Annual change in global glacier thickness (left axis, meters of water equivalent, m/yr) and cumulative value (right axis, m), based on surface area-weighted mass balance observations. A glacier flows naturally like a river, only much more slowly. Glaciers in China’s Qilian mountains in the northwestern province of Gansu are melting at an extremely fast rate. A primary source for this rise is indisputable: humans' prodigious burning of carbon-laden fossil fuels for their factories, homes, and cars. Mark Dyurgerov of INSTAAR has produced an updated global synthesis of existing mass balance data aimed at improving our understanding of glacier-climate interactions. The increasing rate at which Greenland’s glaciers are melting this century has confounded polar scientists. Meltwater can be produced during volcanic eruptions, in a similar way in which the more dangerous lahars form.. Researchers long ago predicted that the most visible impacts from a globally warmer world would occur first at high latitudes: rising air and sea temperatures, earlier snowmelt, later ice freeze-up, reductions in sea ice, thawing permafrost, more erosion, increases in storm intensity. Rising sea level, sinking land, eroding coasts, and temperamental storms are a fact of life for Curole. Part of Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf broke apart in early 2002. "Things that normally happen in geologic time are happening during the span of a human lifetime," says Fagre. "That's out of date," Fagre says, stopping to catch his breath. The once impenetrable permafrost that kept the foundation solid has bucked and heaved so much that walking through the school is almost like walking down the halls of an amusement park fun house. July was the hottest month in the lower 48 states since they started keeping records in 1895. The critical link between glaciers and climate is the glacier mass balance. Now all those impacts have been documented in Alaska. This saline water loses heat to the air as it is carried to the far reaches of the North Atlantic. The terminus of Laohugou No. "It's happening as we speak," the 56-year-old Brower says as we drive around his home in Barrow, Alaska—the United States' northernmost city—on a late August day. {QIN XIANG} "This glacier began shrinking at a faster rate in the mid 1980s. The high end of that projection—nearly three feet (a meter)—would be "an unmitigated disaster," according to Douglas. 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