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Transcript
Melting Antarctic Ice:
Hot Air or Chilling Reality?
Dr. David Vaughan
Hot Science - Cool Talks Volume 47
Produced by and for the Hot Science – Cool Talks Outreach Lecture Series of the Environmental Science
Institute. We request that the use of any of these materials include an acknowledgement of Dr. David Vaughan
and the Hot Science – Cool Talks Outreach Lecture Series of the Environmental Science Institute of the
University of Texas at Austin. We hope you find these materials educational and enjoyable.
Melting Antarctic Ice:
Hot Air or Chilling Reality?
David G. Vaughan
British Antarctic Survey
What goes on in Antarctica is important to the rest of the world
West Antarctic
Links to Sea Level
Estimation
Menu
Menu
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
Arctic and Antarctica are very different
Three major environments
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But it is
the ice
sheet that
dominates
the
continent
Antarctica is the only
continent that wasn’t
explored in a temper!
Menu
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
Menu – human fingerprints on the last wilderness
Radioactive Fallout
FOOTPRINT 1. Radioactive fallout from above-ground nuclear bomb testing in the 1950s remains as horizon in the ice
Lead pollution
1980
1970
1960
Lead buried in the snow
1950
1940
1930
1920
Concentration of Lead (ng / kg)
12
8
4
0
0
2
4
6
8
Firn depth / m
Source: Wolff and Suttie
Ozone Hole
Ozone hole
Source: NASA/BAS
Menu – archive of
planet earth
Menu
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
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The ice-core record
Vostok Core (black) and Dome C Core (blue)
Dome C Core
The ice-core record
Vostok Core (black) and Dome C Core (blue)
Thousands of years before present
Source: EPICA
Menu
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
Menu – climate change in Antarctica
Climate change - World perspective
Source: IPCCWorking Group I, Summary for Policymakers, 2007
Trend in Average Annual Global Temperatures
(1955 to 2005)
0.59 oC
Climate change World perspective
-2.1
-2
-1.5
-1
-.5
-.1
.1
o
.5
1
1.5
2
2.9
C
Source: Hansen
Trends in mean
annual temperature
Temperature trend (oC)
Climate change in Antarctica
Longitude
Climate change in Antarctica – trends in mean annual temperature
Source: Vaughan et al., 2004
Antarctic Peninsula
Trend in annual temperature
Mean annual temp (oC)
Antarctic
Peninsula –
trend in annual
temperature
Date
Source: King et al., BAS
Trends in sea-ice duration
around Antarctica and trends
in mean annual temperature
1979-2000
Trends in sea-ice
duration around
Antarctica and
trends in mean
annual
temperature 19792000
< -5
-5 to -4 -4 to -3 -3 to -2 -2 to -1
0 to 1
1 to 2
2 to 3
3 to 4
4 to 5
days
Source: Connolley, BAS
1985/86
So what does this mean on the
ground?
1994/95
Glacier retreat on the Antarctic Peninsula
Glacie
r
retreat
on the
Antar
ctic
Penin
sula
Source: Cook et. al 2005
Ice shelf retreat
on the
Antarctic
Peninsula
5th Mar. 2002
17th Feb. 2002
31st Jan. 2002
1995
Source: NSIDC, BAS
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Menu
Menu – seallevel rise –
life’s a
beach, why
worry?
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
IPCC
IPCC- 2007 “The projections include a
contribution due to increased ice flow
from Greenland and Antarctica at the
rates observed for 1993-2003, but
these flow rates could increase or
decrease in the future.”
Source: IPCCWorking Group I, Summary for Policymakers, 2007
Asymmetry of Sea Level Change
Sea Level
HIGH
LOW
Temperature change from present (Celsius)
4
2
0
-2
-4
-6
-8
-10
400
350
300
250
200
WARM
COLD
150
100
50
0
Thousands of years before present (present = 1950)
THEN
NOW
Time
Source: Bindschadler
How many people suffer from
coastal flooding today?
10 Million
How many people will suffer
from coastal flooding by
2080 with no sea level rise?
30 Million
If the sea level rise is a
conservative 44cm, how many
people will suffer?
100 Million
Impacts
of sea
level
Sea-level Rise
in 500 years?
Sea-level
rise – 500
years!
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1953 flooding of Norfolk and
Lincolnshire.
Norfolk coast - UK 1953
300 dead, 24,000 homes flooded
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Source: NOAA
Sea-level rise - Impacts in the developing world
Menu –
Antarctica
and sealevel rise
Menu
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
Antarctica and sea level
Bed elevation
Antarctica and sea
level
Source: BEDMAP
Antarctica and sea level
Areas of Antarctica where ice is below sea level
Hydrostatic
overburden
Source: Unpublished
Surface ice-thickness change 1992-2003
Current changes
Source: Wingham et al., 2006
Antarctica and sea level
Satellite measurement of
elevation change
•
•
Amundsen Sea sector
0.043 mm / yr sea level rise
(1991-2001)
Antarctica and sea level – satellite measurement of elevation change
Source: Shepherd, Wingham and Mansley
Menu
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
Menu – getting out there
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West Antarctica 2004/05
mountains
West Antarctica 2004/05
Sedimentary basin
West Antarctica 2004/05
Lakes beneath 2 km of ice
West Antarctica 2004/05
Data pre-2004/05
Data pre-2004/05
Source: Holt et al., Vaughan et al., 2006
West Antarctica 2004/05
2004/05 data
2004/05 data - conjecture
Source: Holt et al., Vaughan et al., 2006
West Antarctica 2004/05
Pre2004/05
topograp
hy
Pre-2004/05 topography
Source: Holt et al., Vaughan et al., 2006
West Antarctica 2004/05
New topography
New topography
Source: Holt et al., Vaughan et al., 2006
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Menu
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
Menu – science and policy – where next?
Antarctic and the media
Antarctic and the media
Policy-maker
Scientist
Science and
policy
Menu
• Overview of Antarctica
• Human fingerprints on the last wilderness
• Archive of Planet Earth
• Climate change in Antarctica
• Sea-level rise – life’s a beach, why worry?
• Antarctica and sea-level rise
• Getting out there
• Science and policy – where next?
Summary of take-home messages
“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit
this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all
cherish our children's future.”
- John F. Kennedy
Kennedy quote
Dr. David Vaughan
Glaciologist, British Antarctic Survey
Dr. Vaughan is the principal investigator for British
Antarctic Survey Core Program: Glacial Retreat of
Antarctica and Deglaciation of the Earth System
(GRADES). The opportunity to define and lead this
program was won through open competition. GRADES will
employ between 12 and 20 staff and focus on aspects of
past and future deglaciation as drivers of change in the
Earth System.
In 2006 Dr. Vaughan was made Honorary Professor in the
School of the Environment and Society, University of
Wales, Swansea.