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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 5, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1992

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...



GENERAL INTEREST--SCIENCE: ICE SHEET STABILITY AND GROWTH

Item #d92dec19

"Is the Antarctic Ice Sheet Growing?" S.S. Jacobs (Lamont-Doherty Geolog. Observ., Palisades NY 10964), Nature, 360(6399), 29-33, Nov. 5, 1992.

While a common perception is that global warming will accelerate the melting of polar ice sheets, causing sea level to rise, a common scientific position is that the volume of grounded Antarctic ice is slowly growing, and will damp sea level rise. A review of recent observations of surface accumulation on Antarctica shows that uncertainties prevent a prediction of the ice sheet's behavior in a warmer world.


Item #d92dec20

Two items from Nature, 359(6398), Oct. 29, 1992:

"Antarctic Ice Sheets at Risk?" D. Sugden (Dept. Geog., Univ. Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH18 9XP, UK), 775-776. Discusses the research context of the following article, concluding that it is still difficult to reconcile contrasting views about the stability of the East Antarctic ice sheet under climatic warming.

"Geochronological Evidence Supporting Antarctic Deglaciation Three Million Years Ago," P.J. Barrett (Sch. Earth Sci., Victoria Univ., POB 600, Wellington, New Zealand), C.J. Adams et al., 816-818.

Resolves one uncertainty relating to the question of extensive deglaciation of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Pliocene epoch, when temperatures were only slightly warmer than today. Determined K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar ages for a volcanic ash bed in diatom-bearing glaciomarine strata in Farrar Fiord. The diatom ages from the cores (about 3 Myr) confirm the deglaciation.


Item #d92dec21

"Sensitivity of Glaciers and Small Ice Caps to Greenhouse Warming," J. Oerlemans (Inst. Marine Res., Utrecht Univ., Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, Neth.), J.P.F. Fortuin, Science, 258(5079), 115-117, Oct. 2, 1992. A world-wide estimate, based on modeling 12 selected glaciers in widely differing climatic regimes, shows that for a uniform 1 K warming, the area-weighted glacier mass balance will decrease by 0.40 m yr-1, corresponding to a sea level rise of 0.58 mm yr-1, a value significantly less than earlier estimates.

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