Antarctic ‘melt’ triples
Warming to exceed 1.5ºC
PARIS, June 14, (Agencies): Antarctica has lost a staggering three trillion tonnes of ice since 1992, according to a landmark study published Wednesday that suggests the frozen continent could redraw Earth’s coastlines if global warming continues unchecked.
Two-fifths of that ice loss occurred in the last five years, a three-fold increase in the pace at which Antarctica is shedding its kilometres-thick casing, a consortium of 84 scientists reported in the journal Nature.
The findings should dispel any lingering doubts that the continent’s ice mass is shrinking, the authors said.
They also highlight the existential threat facing low-lying coastal cities and communities home to hundreds of millions of people.
“We now have an unequivocal picture of what’s happening in Antarctica,” said co-lead author Eric Rignot, a scientist at NASA’s Jet propulsion Laboratory who has been tracking Earth’s ice sheets for two decades.
“We view these results as another ringing alarm for action to slow the warming of our planet.”
Up to now, scientists have struggled in determining whether Antarctica has accumulated more mass through snowfall than it loses in meltwater runoff and ice flows into the ocean.
But more than two decades of satellite data — the new findings draw from 24 separate space-based surveys
“By forcing through this vote, while excluding UK companies from the contracts on security grounds, the European Commission has put all of this at risk.”
Bebb accused the European Commission of using Galileo participation as a “negotiating tactic”, adding: “We would never negotiate on the basis of our security concerns”.
The Galileo programme is intended both for commercial uses such logistics as well as for armed forces and emergency services.
Brussels has said it will deny London — have finally yielded a more complete picture.
Covering twice the area of the continental United States, Antarctica is blanketed by enough ice pack to lift global oceans by nearly 60 metres (210 feet).
More than 90 percent of that frozen water sits atop East Antarctica, which has remained mostly stable even as climate change has driven up Earth’s average surface temperature by a full degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
Some studies had suggested a net gain in mass over recent decades.
Meanwhile, global warming is on course to exceed the most stringent goal set in the Paris agreement by around 2040, threatening economic growth, according to a draft report that is the U.N.’s starkest warning yet of the risks of climate change.
Governments can still cap temperatures below the strict 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) ceiling agreed in 2015 only with “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in the world economy, according to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The final government draft, obtained by Reuters and dated June 4, is due for publication in October in South Korea after revisions and approval by governments.
It will be the main scientific guide for combating climate change.
access to Galileo’s encrypted signals after Brexit, citing legal issues about sharing sensitive security information with a non-member state. (AFP)
Hawaii volcano summit erupts:
The summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted early on Wednesday and fissures on its eastern slope sent fountains of lava up to 160 feet (50 meter) high, as the volcano showed no signs of calming down after six weeks of intensified activity.
A steam explosion at the summit will likely shower communities near the volcano with ash, the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said on Wednesday.
“The summit explosion produced an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4,” the US Geological Service (USGS) wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
The volcano has produced hundreds of moderate earthquakes since it first began erupting on May 3, caused by magma draining from inside the volcano and moving underground.
The magma has been spouting out of fissures from the ground along Kilauea flank, causing mass evacuations from communities. The most active fissure now, called “Fissure 8,” continued to pour into the ocean at Kapoho Bay, producing a hydrochloric acid mist called “laze,” formed when lava enters seawater. “Gas emissions from the fissure eruption and at the ocean entry continue to be very high,” the Civil Defense Agency said. (RTRS)