Tag Archives: Greenland

‘Grand Canyon’ of Greenland Discovered Under Ice Sheet

View of the subglacial canyon,
looking northwest from central Greenland

GREENLAND

The age of discovery isn’t over yet. A colossal canyon, the longest on Earth, has just been found under Greenland’s ice sheet, scientists announced today (Aug. 29) in the journal Science.

The following reblog is from counselheal.com’s article by Cheri Cheng ~ In an accidental find, researchers identified a huge canyon underneath Greenland’s thick ice sheet. This canyon is roughly twice as long as the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The newly discovered canyon is believed to be 800km or 497 miles long and 800m or half mile deep. It is encased under the ice and carved out by a great river.

GREENLAND TOPOGRAPHIC“With satellite images instantly available on a mobile phone we could assume that the Earth has been fully mapped, but there’s clearly a lot left to discover. We’re incredibly excited about this – it really is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery to find something on this scale,” the lead author, Professor Jonathan Bamber of Bristol University said according to BBC News.

Youtube video, “Greenland’s Mega Canyon, posted August 29, 2013 by mvdktube ~

The researchers came across the canyon as they were studying climate changes in the ice sheet. The researchers were interested in finding out how global warming will affect the melting of the ice sheet. Over the past years, central Greenland was 500m or 0.3 miles above sea level. Now, central Greenland is 200m or 0.1 miles above sea level, a drastic change. Upon doing their research, the team used radar to bounce off signals from the bedrock beneath the ice sheet, which is currently two miles thick. By using certain frequencies, the researchers knew that the ice sheet would be transparent to radio waves. With the help of previous research from NASA and from research out of the United Kingdom and Germany, the team found the canyon.

 PETERMANN GLACIER“The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets hide a lot. It’s pretty surprising to find this canyon. Greenland isn’t that big for a canyon of that size and for it to survive in its pre-glacial form after successive glaciations is quite something,” Professor David Vaughan from British Antarctic Survey said. “There’s likely to be some sort of bacteria down there – whether it’s viable is a different matter.”

The researchers believe that the canyon existed before the ice sheet developed. They also theorized that parts of the canyon might have been visible 100,000 years ago. The canyon currently runs through the center of Greenland and up to the northern coastline. It runs “downhill” and the water from the ice sheet trickles out slowly by the northern end.

This new find is extremely exciting. The canyon is believed to be one of the largest ones in the world. The report was published in Science.

Link to article ~
http://www.counselheal.com/articles/6552/20130830/researchers-discover-huge-canyon-under-greenland-s-ice-sheet-video.htm

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NATO PETITION ~ ARCTIC COUNCIL ~ WORTHWHILE!!

I’ve copied information I received from care2.com, regarding the petition I signed.  In my collage I’ve included a map of Greenland and Canada to point out the close proximity of the two countries and I find it rather alarming now that China’s interest in the area has been confirmed.

The Arctic Council is supposed to protect this incredible part of the earth from exploitation and destruction. But with climate change melting Greenland‘s waters, China is aggressively looking for a profit from mining and new shipping routes. Yet, it also wants to be an observer on the Council. Talk about conflict of interest!

I signed a petition voicing my concerns to NATO and Arctic Council officials and urged them to make sure they keep protecting the Arctic‘s natural resources.

I know you care about the health of our planet too, so I thought you’d want to join me and sign.

Here’s the link:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/869/770/954/dont-pave-the-arctic/

Greenland’s once frozen waters are now nearly ice-free. China’s not worried about the effect of global warming on the environment, though. They’re more concerned about getting first dibs on profiting from the area’s decline. 

China’s vying to become a permanent observer for the Arctic Council, a position that would allow them a say in decisions involving minerals and shipping
So far, they’ve been incredibly aggressive in the move to gain unclaimed Arctic regions. China has shown they’re uniquely qualified to access gas and oil sources in tricky locations in the northern Arctic. Since China also has an interest in exploring potential commercial shipping short-cuts through the area, they sent a ship to scout out possible routes.
Allowing countries to use the Arctic for shipping routes and mining will only expose Greenland waters to worse environmental distress.
Urge NATO and the Arctic Council to protect the Arctic and its natural resources!
 
If you did sign the petition thank you so very much.
 
 

SENSELESS CRUEL SLAUGHTER OF BABY HARP SEALS

“Please help stop September 15 deadline for death of Harp Seals at Aquarium des Iles, Quebec, Canada”

We are writing to urge you and your organizations to take immediate steps to help save the lives of Zak and Mika, two captive 6-month old Harp Seals pups. They were captured from the wild this spring as newborn pups by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO-MPO) for the purpose of providing them to the Aquarium des Iles in Quebec for tourism display.

~ PLEASE HELP ME AND MANY OTHERS BY SIGNING THIS PETITION ~

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/867/025/075/please-help-stop-september-15-deadline-for-death-of-harp-seals-at-aquarium-des-iles-quebec-canada/

As disturbed as I am about this desperate situation I thought we should learn a bit about the Harp Seal, so I am including some information that I found on the Wikipedia site.

 The harp seal or saddleback seal is a species of earless seal native to the northernmost Atlantic Ocean and parts of the Arctic Ocean. It now belongs to the monotypic genus Pagophilus. Its scientific name, Pagophilus groenlandicus, means “ice-lover from Greenland”, and its synonym, Phoca groenlandica means “Greenland seal”.

 

The harp seal has a black face with silvery-gray body. Its eyes are pure black. It has black harp or wishbone-shaped markings on the back. They exhibit little sexual dimorphism.  The baby harp seal (pup) has a yellow-white coat at birth, but after three days, the coat turns white and stays white for about 12 days. Adult harp seals grow up to be 1.7 to 2.0 m (5 to 6 feet) long and weigh from 140 to 190 kg (300 to 400 pounds).

 The harp seal population is found in three separate populations, each of which uses a specific breeding site. The western North Atlantic stock, which is the largest, is located off eastern Canada. This population is further divided into two separate herds based on the breeding location. The Front herd breeds off the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland, and the Gulf herd breeds near the Magdalen Islands in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A second stock breeds on the “West Ice” off eastern Greenland. A third stock breeds on the “East Ice” in the White Sea, which is off the coast of Russia. Breeding occurs between mid-February and April, and varies somewhat for each stock.

THE THOUGHT OF NEEDLESS SLAUGHTER like this TO ME is simply unforgivable! 

wHAT ALSO REALLY BOTHERS ME IS THE FACT THAT THE AQUARIUM MADE A BOATLOAD OF MONEY FROM TOURISTS WHILE THE PUPS WERE ON DISPLAY!!!

Thank you all so very much for your caring enough to help out!

‘WORLD FAMOUS GLACIERS’ PHLOG

As a follow up to yesterday’s blog on “Greenland Glaciers On The Move“, I felt it would be nice to showcase my first photoblog, or “phlog” of some famous glaciers from around the world in small collages that I’ve created for you.

I also have a wonderful video for you, entitled: “Indonesia’s Last Glacier” which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Of the five glaciers featured, I definitely had to include two countries, Indonesia and Argentina, because I was so surprised to find out that glaciers exist in these countries.  I have included a brief description with each collage.

Parque Nacional los Glaciares in Argentina

Los Glaciares National Park is located in Argentina – south west of Santa Cruz on the border with Chile. Its name refers to the glaciers that are born on the Ice Caps – the largest continental ice extension after Anctartica- which occupies almost half its area. Also known as Patagonic Continental Ice, creates 47 big glaciers, 13 of which flow to the Atlantic. There are also more than 200 smaller glaciers, unconnected to the Ice Caps.

Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

The Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacier in the Alps, covering more than 120 square kilometres (46 sq mi) in the eastern Bernese Alps of Switzerland. It is composed of three smaller glaciers converging at Concordia, where its thickness is estimated to be near 1 km (3,300 ft). The glacier then continues towards the Rhone valley before giving birth to the Massa River.

 

Puncak Jaya in Papua, Indonesia

Indonesia has glaciers as well, as surprising as it may seem.  The ice fields of Puncak Jaya in Papua, Indonesia are also shrinking like other glaciers worldwide. Indonesia’s Puncak Jaya, earth’s highest island peak and the tallest mountain between the Andes and the Himalayas, holds the last glaciers in the tropical Pacific.  Ancient ice from such high, frozen peaks lets scientists examine past climates and understand mechanism of possible future climate changes. I found an impressive video for you – “Indonesia’s Last Glaciers”:

  

The Hailuogou Glacier

Hailuogou is a national forest park, located in Luding County, Sichuan Provincein China.  It’s glaciers cover 31 square kilometres of the Conch Gully. Classified as Modern Glacier, they came into being 16 million years ago. The Grand Glacier Cascade – 1,000 meters in height and 1,000 meters in width – is the only one in the world. The Hailuogou Glacier is noted to be the lowest glacier in the world.

Kilimanjaro glaciers

Kilimanjaro, in northern Tanzania, is unique.  You will climb through all climatalogical zones during the ascent – tropical rain forest through moss and desert to the snow on the summit – the ice fields that top Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.  The combined area of glaciers in these three regions is about 10 square kilometers.

Link to LiveScience’s Gallery, “Awe Inspiring Glaciers”

http://www.livescience.com/15430-gallery-awe-inspiring-glaciers.html

 If you are visiting for the first time, I hope you enjoyed my ‘phlog’ and I’d like you to know that we’d  love to hear from you.  Thank you!

GREENLAND GLACIERS ON THE MOVE

GREENLAND GLACIERS ARE SPEEDING UP

A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation) over many years, often centuries.   Crevasses, seracs, and other distinguishing features of a glacier are due to its flow.  Another consequence of glacier flow is the transport of rock and debris abraded from its substrate and resultant landforms like cirques and moraines.  Glaciers form on land, often elevated, and are distinct from the much thinner sea ice and lake ice that form on the surface of bodies of water.

Greenland’s ice sheet is on the move, with new images showing its glaciers moving 30 percent faster than they were a decade ago.

Excerpts from article by Jennifer Welsh, Live Science Staff Writer Date: 03 May 2012

We encourage you to read the full article by checking the site’s url at the end of this blog.

The heavily crevassed ice on this small Greenland outlet glacier cascades down to the fjord water (bottom right), which is filled with icebergs and small bits of ice.
CREDIT: Ian Joughin and Science / AAAS

Small Ice Sources Pose Big Threat to Rising Seas Greenland and Antarctica … glaciers are shrinking and the water contained in them is moving into the oceans, adding to the already rising sea level.  A glacier’s velocity is a measure of how fast the ice on the surface of the sheet is flowing … The faster the flow, the more water and ice mass is lost from the glacier.

Greenland Glacier“You can think of the Greenland ice sheet as a really large lake that has hundreds of those little outlet streams that are acting like conveyor belts to move ice from the middle of the ice sheet, where it’s getting added by precipitation, to the edges,” study researcher Twila Moon, a graduate student at the University of Washington, told LiveScience

Alaskan Iceresearchers analyzed satellite images of the Greenland glaciers taken between 2000 and 2010. These annual images were put through a computer program to detect how quickly the ice is moving. In general, the glacial flow has sped up by 30 percent over the 10 years, Moon said … The glaciers that drop off into the sea are flowing the fastest, Moon said, up to 7 miles (11 kilometers) per year and their speeds are accelerating. “The areas where the ice sheet loses the most ice are also the areas we are seeing the biggest changes,” Moon said…

“A lot of the drive behind current Greenland ice sheet and Antarctica studies is to ask, ‘What sea-level rise can we expect?'” Moon said. “Both of these areas hold vast amounts of ice and the potential for very large sea-level rises. We need to understand what’s happening on them to see what potential scenario will be realized.”

Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience Staff Writer, May 03,2012

http://www.livescience.com/20082-greenland-glaciers-velocity.html

 Some images taken from LiveScience Ice World Album –

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer, 05 August 2011
 
 AMAZING!!! Video of iceberg collapse in Wilhemina Bay region in Antarctica –YouTube, Mar 6, 2012 by –