Archive for Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New research, assisted by KU ice sheet center, provides hints of climate change effects

January 23, 2013


New research published this week provides never-before-seen clues about what could happen to the Greenland ice sheet as global temperatures rise, and it was made possible in part by a Kansas University research center.

Researchers and technology from KU's Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets played a role in an article published in the most recent issue of the journal Nature, dated Jan. 24, that for the first time presents a record of a time period called the Eemian interglacial in the Greenland ice sheet.

"That's the major accomplishment from this core," said Prasad Gogineni, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of CReSIS at KU.

During that period, which lasted from about 130,000 to 115,000 years ago, temperatures around the ice sheet were about 8 degrees Celsius (around 14 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than they are today.

So a record of what happened, Gogineni said, could serve as an example for what's in store in the case of climate change.

Scores of researchers from 15 different countries assisted on the research, which took place from 2008 to 2012.

The research required the drilling of an ice core 2,540 meters long — more than 1.5 miles — that could be used to tell the historical story of the ice sheet.

KU's CReSIS researchers used their aircraft equipped with radars to identify the site to drill for the core, and also recorded data about the core's layers so it could be compared to others collected in Greenland. Layers on the ice represent different time periods in the life of the ice sheet, similar to rings inside of a tree, Gogineni said.

The radars developed at CreSIS are the best in the world for such work, he said.

The effort discovered that, during that warmer period more than 100 millenia ago, the Greenland ice sheet survived, but it shrank considerably.

Enough ice likely melted to cause sea levels around the world to rise by about 2 meters, Gogineni said.

"If you add a meter-to-2-meter level rise to what happened in Sandy, it's going to be more serious," he said.

The airborne radars developed by CReSIS have been assisting with research in Greenland and Antarctica since 1993.


lawrenceguy40 5 years, 4 months ago

Lies upon lies upon lies.

It is time to put a stop to this welfare system for the liberal elite! No more funding for bogus science (and most federally funded science is just that).

Ken Lassman 5 years, 4 months ago

Puh-leaze. Are you a lifetime member of the Flat Earth Society, or believe that the world was created in 7 days a few thousand years ago, or both?

I suppose it's fine that you don't think you need science in your life or that your way of life is not dependent on those scientific insights, just as long as you don't force your beliefs on those around you, or prevent the rest of us from exploring the amazing reality of the universe through the use of the tools of science.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 4 months ago

Your Delta Tau Chi name is ... Tea Rod.

Buy a brain. Buy a book. Eat the brain. Eat the book. Produce results. Get your Delta Tau Chi name and a heaping helping of digested harangue to boot.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

LG40, just where do you think all the water is going to go when the ice sheet melts, or when the ice at the poles melt? Is it just going to disappear. Since you don't believe in science, you must believe in magic. Grow up.

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

May I suggest that you quit using electricity, then?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 4 months ago

I'd bet good money that lawrenceguy has no interest in researching anything that might challenge his preconceived notions, fret. He'd no doubt blow off all the independent commissions that exonerated the accusations that East Anglia "climategate" scientists, saying that while being rude, did nothing at all wrong in their science. He has no interest in the multiple streams of data that are quite independent of HADCRUT temperature datasets that not only corroborate the East Anglia dataset (which has since been updated and made even more accurate since the so-called scandal). Never mind the ocean heat, sea surface temps, acidifcation, ice melt, decreased snow cover, increasingly sophisticated and accurate models, shift in weather extremes, and on and on.

I'm proud that KU not only has this group, but several other groups working on various aspects of data collection and analysis regarding climate change. KState is not to be outdone, with its world class Soil Carbon center, and many other regional colleges and universities providing valuable information for everyone who plans to spend the rest of their lives on this planet, as well as their offspring.

riverdrifter 5 years, 4 months ago

You will have to define the term "research" to lg40. In fact, lg40 has the intellect of a snapping turtle. Don't waste your time responding to it.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 4 months ago

Your Delta Tau Chi name is ... Tea Rod.

Buy a brain. Buy a book. Eat the brain. Eat the book. Produce results. Get your Delta Tau Chi name and a heaping helping of digested harangue to boot.

tolawdjk 5 years, 4 months ago

I gave my love a chicken, that had no bone.

question4u 5 years, 4 months ago

I, for one, think that these conspiracy theorists are on to something. If 100,000 scientists could successfully conspire to cover up the alien landings in New Mexico and hide Bigfoot in the forests around Wichita, then they certainly can systematically fake data on climate change for twenty years. At least that's what we believe here at Graceland.

Sincerely, Elvis

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

And don't forget the fake moon landing.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 4 months ago

Law40 also predicted Obama shutouts, not once, but twice. He also took the liberty to speak for all Lawrencencians and told of how we didn't want public transportation (75% approved).

Your guy lost, get over it.

newmedia 5 years, 4 months ago

Key words are in the first sentence "what could happen". Notice they were careful not to say what will happen...........

Alyosha 5 years, 4 months ago

Um, not saying what "will" happen isn't so unusual. Ever heard of probabilities? In some areas of inquiry, absolute prediction is impossible, given the complexity of a system, say.

A simple example of this is the effects of smoking. A doctor cannot tell you that you will die of cancer, but can tell you that the likelihood of dying of cancer is far far higher if you continue to smoke.

Would you continue to smoke because your doctor said you could or might die, requiring that he say you will die to be convinced?

Centerville 5 years, 4 months ago

newmedia: stop being sensible. You'll be called a 'denier' and you know that being called names by the lock-step drones is the worst thing that can happen to any of us. So we're supposed to be quiet, and hand wash all our trash, and pay extra for electricity, etc etc etc to stay off their radar.

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

Did not see these responses coming.

Ok, I lied. I clicked on this, not only to read the article, but to be entertained by the responses.

Of course, we don't know the future. A meteor could hit us, a huge volcano could erupt and destroy all life on earth, but while we're here, wouldn't it be better to not foul our living space and to be conservative of our resources?

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

Your wasting your time with some of these people about conserving resources and not fowling our living space. To prove a point they would rather operate like dogs and crap in their own back yard. The only difference is the two legged variety has the nerve to complain about their back yard being ruined and hope someone comes up with a way to fix it after it is to late.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm with Lawrenceguy40. Especially the part about funding. There is always a new "Find" right before additional funding is needing to be requested. Rinse and repeat and the places with the money buy off on it every time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Why don't you just say you know nothing about the research they are conducting, and rather than educate yourself about it, you'd rather just attack them for essentially being frauds and thieves.

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, I am waiting for corporations and private business to fund such studies and report the finding accurately knowing full well that their research would no doubt have a very negative impact on their business to make more money..

Whodathunk 5 years, 4 months ago

Maybe we get the people who make the water-wings to kick in a little. Rising sea levels would have to be good for their business!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Given that half the world's population lives in coastal areas, perhaps you need to think this through a bit more thoroughly.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

Could get crowded in Kansas, but our land will be worth more.

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

Are you serious or is this sarcasm?

Centerville 5 years, 4 months ago

They're going to have to have better data than just 'hide the decline'.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 4 months ago

CReSIS research is much more than a single paper. There have been years of research in Greenland and Antarctica. See .

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

How many campfires did it take to raise the temp 14 degrees 100,000 years ago?

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

It's not the climate cycles themselves that are the problem, it's the rate of change in this cycle that's the problem.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

There were probably no more than a million people in the entire world 100,000 years ago, all of them nomadic hunter/gatherers. Which means there's been a 700,000 percent increase in the world's population since then, and almost none of us are nomadic hunter/gatherers.

Could that at all be significant? Surely not.

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