Ice shelves in Antarctica, such as the Getz Ice Shelf seen here, are sensitive to warming ocean temperatures. Ocean and atmospheric conditions are some of the drivers of ice sheet loss that scientists considered in a new study estimating additional global sea level rise by 2100. (Credit: Jeremy Harbeck / NASA; provided by the University at Buffalo)
Tue, Sep 22nd 2020 09:25 am
International effort leveraged UB’s supercomputing facilities for data storage
By the University at Buffalo
An international effort that brought together more than 60 ice, ocean and atmosphere scientists from three-dozen international institutions has generated new estimates of how much of an impact Earth’s melting ice sheets could have on global sea levels by 2100.
The research, led by NASA and supported by the University at Buffalo’s supercomputing facilities, finds that if greenhouse gas emissions continue apace, Greenland and Antarctica’s ice sheets could together contribute more than 15 inches (38 centimeters) of global sea level rise – and that’s beyond the amount that has already been set in motion by Earth’s warming climate.
Findings from this effort are in line with projections in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2019 special report on oceans and the cryosphere. Meltwater from ice sheets contribute about a third of the total global sea level rise. The IPCC report projected Greenland would contribute 3.1 to 10.6 inches (8 to 27 cm) to global sea level rise between 2000-2100 and Antarctica could contribute 1.2 to 11 inches (3 to 28 cm).
These new results, published this week in a special issue of the journal The Cryosphere, come from the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6) led by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The study is one of many efforts scientists are involved in to project the impact of a warming climate on melting ice sheets, understand its causes and track sea level rise.
“One of the biggest uncertainties when it comes to how much sea level will rise in the future is how much the ice sheets will contribute. And how much the ice sheets contribute is really dependent on what the climate will do,” said project leader and ice scientist Sophie Nowicki, Ph.D., formerly at NASA Goddard, who joined the University at Buffalo this semester as Empire Innovation Professor in the department of geology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, and in the UB RENEW Institute.
“The strength of ISMIP6 was to bring together most of the ice sheet modeling groups around the world, and then connect with other communities of ocean and atmospheric modelers as well, to better understand what could happen to the ice sheets,” said Heiko Goelzer, Ph.D., a scientist from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, now at NORCE Norwegian Research Centre in Norway. Goelzer led the Greenland ice sheet ISMIP6 effort.
UB helped to facilitate the research by enabling the team to transfer, store and process huge amounts of data at the university’s Center for Computational Research (CCR) as part of a pilot project to leverage the facility’s capabilities to support ice sheet research. The UB effort is led by Jason Briner, Ph.D., UB professor of geology; Jeanette Sperhac, scientific programmer at CCR; Beata Csatho, Ph.D., professor of geology; Kristin Poinar, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology; Nowicki; and Abani Patra, Ph.D., a former UB faculty member who is now at Tufts University, where he is the Stern Family Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics and director of the Data Intensive Studies Center.
With warming air temperatures melting the surface of the ice sheet, and warming ocean temperatures causing ocean-terminating glaciers to retreat, Greenland’s ice sheet is a significant contributor to sea level rise. The ISMIP6 team investigated two different scenarios the IPCC has set for future climate to predict sea level rise between 2015 and 2100: one with carbon emissions increasing rapidly and another with lower emissions.
In the high emissions scenario, they found the Greenland ice sheet would lead to an additional global sea level rise of about 3.5 inches (9 cm) by 2100. In the lower emissions scenario, the loss from the ice sheet would raise global sea level by about 1.3 inches (3 cm). This is beyond what is already destined to be lost from the ice sheet due to warming temperatures between preindustrial times and now; previous studies have estimated contribution to global sea level rise by 2100 to be about a quarter-inch (6 millimeters) for the Greenland ice sheet.
The ISMIP6 team also analyzed the Antarctic ice sheet to understand how much ice melt from future climate change would add to sea level rise, beyond what recent warming temperatures have already put in motion. Ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet is more difficult to predict: In the west, warm ocean currents erode the bottom of large floating ice shelves, causing loss; while the vast East Antarctic ice sheet can gain mass, as warmer temperatures cause increased snowfall.
The results point to a greater range of possibilities, from ice sheet change that decreases sea level by 3.1 inches (7.8 cm), to increasing it by 12 inches (30 cm) by 2100, with different climate scenarios and climate model inputs. The regional projections show the greatest loss in West Antarctica, responsible for up to 7.1 inches (18 cm) of sea level rise by 2100 in the warmest conditions, according to the research.
“The Amundsen Sea region in West Antarctica and Wilkes Land in East Antarctica are the two regions most sensitive to warming ocean temperatures and changing currents, and will continue to lose large amounts of ice,” said Hélène Seroussi, Ph.D., an ice scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California who led the Antarctic ice sheet modeling in the ISMIP6 effort. “With these new results, we can focus our efforts in the correct direction and know what needs to be worked on to continue improving the projections.”
Different groups within the ISMIP6 community are working on various aspects of the ice sheet modeling effort. All are designed to better understand why the ice sheets are changing and to improve estimates of how much ice sheets will contribute to sea level rise.
“It took over six years of workshops and teleconferences with scientists from around the world working on ice sheet, atmosphere and ocean modeling to build a community that was able to ultimately improve our sea level rise projections,” Nowicki said. “The reason it worked is because the polar community is small, and we’re all very keen on getting this problem of future sea level right. We need to know these numbers.”
The new results will help inform the sixth IPCC report scheduled for release in 2022.
Asteroid samples successfully sealed in capsule to return to Earth, NASA says – Barrie 360 – Barrie 360
William Harwood – CBS News
An estimated two pounds or more of rock and soil collected from the asteroid Bennu by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft have been successfully sealed up in a protective re-entry capsule for return to Earth in 2023, project managers said Thursday.
While detailed hands-on analysis cannot begin until the samples are returned, scientists have already gained insights into the flaky nature of Bennu’s soil, or regolith, by watching how it behaved when the rocks and soil were collected on October 20.
And that is already feeding into discussions about how to possibly one day divert a threatening asteroid from a collision with Earth.
“The OSIRIS-REx mission has collected a phenomenal data set about asteroid Bennu, which is a potentially hazardous asteroid with approximately (a) 1-in-2,700 chance of impacting the Earth late in the 22nd century,” said Dante Lauretta, the mission’s principal investigator.
“The biggest uncertainties on the mission where the response of the regolith to the TAGSAM (sample collector) pressing down onto the surface. And I know already different groups within NASA and other agencies have been able to use our data set for scenarios of the kind that you’re describing.”
Said Lori Glaze, director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters: “I think this information is going to be incredibly important as we think about how to mitigate future potential impacts from these potentially hazardous objects.”
But the primary goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission was to collect a minimum of 60 grams — 1.1 ounces — of rock and soil from Bennu, and the spacecraft appears to have far exceeded that modest requirement.
During a dramatic touch-and-go impact October 20, the spacecraft slowly descended to the surface of Bennu, pressing its TAGSAM collector down onto the soil as compressed nitrogen gas was released, stirring up a blizzard of rocks and fine-grained particles.
The collector was designed so the gas would drive small particles into internal chambers, capturing them for return to Earth. In fact, the TAGSAM captured so much material a flap intended to seal the material inside the collector was jammed open by a rock fragment, allowing small fragments to escape.
As a result, mission managers opted to stow the collector well ahead of schedule, foregoing plans to “weigh” the collected samples by slowly spinning the spacecraft and carefully analyzing its motion compared to earlier measurements when the sample collector was empty.
But with soil and small rock fragments working their way out of the collector, time was of the essence. Earlier this week, flight controllers carried out a 36-hour procedure to reposition OSIRIS-REx’s robot arm so the TAGSAM collector on the far end could be stowed and sealed inside a protective capsule.
If all goes well, OSIRIS-REx will begin the two-year trip back to Earth next spring. The sample capsule will be released in September 2023 for a parachute descent to Utah where recovery crews will be waiting to rush the material to a lab at the Johnson Space Center for initial analysis.
Because mission managers decided not to attempt weighing the collected samples, they do not know for sure how much material was captured. But based on the amount visible to OSIRIS-REx’s cameras, Lauretta said he is confident at last two pounds or rock and soil were scooped up as the TAGSAM pressed into and blow Bennu’s surface.
“There was very little resistance to the spacecraft’s downward motion from the asteroid regolith,” he said. “And so we were continuing to penetrate and burrow underneath the subsurface of the asteroid while the TAGSAM gas was being injected into the regolith.
“Current assessments are that we penetrated a minimum of 24 centimeters (9.4 inches) … and possibly as deep as over 48 centimeters (18.9 inches) with TAGSAM gas firing and collecting and driving material into the collection chamber during that entire time. So we are highly confident … the TAGSAM was was full to capacity.”
Even though a few “tens of grams” of material managed to float free of the sample collector before it could be stowed, Lauretta said he believes “we still have hundreds of grams of material in the sample collector head, probably over a kilogram easily.”
“But of course, we have to wait till 2023 to open up the TAGSAM and be sure.”
banner image via NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin
What you need to know about the rare Halloween full moon – Global News
This will be the first time a full moon has fallen on Halloween since 1974 and it won’t happen again until 2039, but there are a few other reasons why this October full moon will be extra spooky.
“You could call it a Boo-Blue-Super Mini-Hunter Full Moon,” said Rick Stankiewicz, publicity director for the Peterborough Astronomical Association.
Here is why Stankiewicz might say that:
- Boo: Full moon falls on Halloween
- Blue: Second full moon in the month.
- Super Mini: Furthest from Earth and appearing as the smallest full moon of 2020. The apogee — that is, when the moon’s orbit takes it furthest from Earth — technically occurs on Oct. 30, when the Moon will be 406,394 km away.
- Hunter Moon: The full moon that follows the Harvest Moon (Oct. 1, 2020), which is always the first Full Moon closest to the Fall Equinox. The Hunter Full Moon will usually be in October or November.
Stankiewicz said the blue moon part of the name is a bit deceiving. “It won’t look blue,” he said. “At moonrise, 6:24 p.m., it might look yellowish or orange if we are lucky.”
A rare blue moon will light up the sky on Halloween
He said the best time to see the Moon is shortly after moonrise, low in the eastern sky. That’s because it will be closer to the horizon. “The Moon will look a little bigger then,” he said. “The odds of having a hint of colour is always better when it is near the horizon because of the atmosphere it has to shine through.”
If you miss the view this time around, you’ll have to wait until 2039 to see it again.
“It is not the rarest celestial event because it does repeat itself every 19 years,” Stankiewicz said. “But let’s face it, there are lots of ‘stars aligning’ for all these moon-types to be coming together on a Halloween night.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
NASA plans to send a mission to an asteroid that is… – AlKhaleej Today
Dr. Tracy Baker, planetary researcher at the Southwest Research Institute, said, “We have seen meteorites, most of them metal, but 16 Psyche It might be unique in that it is an asteroid made entirely of iron and nickel in that planet Earth is a metal core, cap, and crust and it is possible that during the formation of a first planet with one another object collided in our solar system and lost its mantle and shell.
Experts predict that iron alone accounts for 16% Psyche It could be worth $ 10,000 quadrillion – if it could be brought to earth for comparison, the global economy was valued at $ 80,934,771,028,340 (£ 62,388,972,921,051.02) in 2017.
This means the asteroid could be worth 123,556.29 times the economy Global news In 2017 she said Lindy Elkins-Tanton NASA mission senior scientist and director of the College of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University: “Even if we could take a big coin and move back here, what would you do?” Could you sit down and hide it and the Control global resources as diamonds are institutionally controlled – and protect your market? What if you decide to return it one more time and solve mankind’s mineral resource problems at any time? It is clear that this is wild speculation.
NASA plans to visit the asteroid in 2022 in hopes of understanding how terrestrial planets like Earth first formed.
The spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2022 before it reaches orbit Psyche In 2026, to orbit the asteroid for 21 months, map and study properties PsycheBefore they send their results back to Earth.
And NASA stated, “In the depths of the rocky and terrestrial planets – including the Earth – scientists infer the presence of metal cores, but these are far fetched under the rocky crusts of the planets and since we cannot see the heart of the planets Earth or measure it directly, Psyche It provides a unique window into the violent history of collisions and agglomerations that created the planets of the earth. ”
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