Global temperatures are rising so steeply that scientists are turning their attention to the “water blisters” that are forming in the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Meltwater lakes naturally occur on the ice sheet during the summer season, but scientists are observing that they are becoming more frequent and of a greater magnitude with global warming. Lakes of melting ice pool onto the ice sheet’s surface and slowly trickle down through the ice, which can be over 1,000 metres thick in certain sections, creating water-filled cavities.
Researchers from Princeton University used field observations and scientific models to visualize these cavities, which are also referred to as water blisters. Their study, published in Nature Communications, reveals that the water blisters push up on the ice’s surface, which causes it to drop and deform as the water trickles through the glacier.
Meltwater on the Greenland Ice Sheet near Camp Victor north of Ilulissat. (Ashley Cooper. The Image Bank. Getty Images)
The scientists say that this rising and falling motion indicates that some of the meltwater lakes are draining quite rapidly. Their study found that transmissivity, defined as “the efficiency of the water networks that form between the ice and the bedrock,” increases by up to two orders of magnitude during the summer melt season.
Scientists are interested in this complicated movement of meltwater because they say that it can act as a lubricant for the glacier and allow it to slide more easily across the bedrock. Glaciers are becoming increasingly destabilized as the atmosphere heats up and scientists say that knowing what is happening deep inside the ice sheet will help them predict how glaciers will behave as global temperatures continue to rise.
The study says that this is the first time transmissivity has been estimated using observations of the ice sheet deformation caused by the rapidly draining meltwater lakes.
A glacier in southern Greenland. (Jhony. iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Former studies that have researched the impacts of surface melting on the stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet have focused on low elevations where the ice sheet is thinner. This time, observations support the hypothesis that surface melting at higher elevations where the ice sheet is thicker is influencing transmissivity.
“More observations of seasonal changes of subglacial transmissivity in response to surface melting would be needed to really understand what would happen when melt migrates to higher elevation regions,” said first author Ching-Yao Lai in the university’s press release.
Other research backs up the grim outlook for the Greenland Ice Sheet, unless the world drastically slashes greenhouse gas emissions.
A few months ago, a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America reported that the Greenland Ice Sheet could be completely melted by the year 3000. Another recently published study published in Nature Geoscience reports that high levels of mercury have been found in Greenland’s meltwater samples.
On July 19, 2021 the Greenlandic government, Naalakkersuisut, announced that the country will no longer issue new licenses for oil and gas exploration in a bid to curb the impacts of climate change.
Thumbnail credit: Jan-Stefan Knick/EyeEm/Getty Images
SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Crew Shares Photos of Earth from Space – Beebom
If you are a space enthusiast like myself, I’m sure you love the mesmerizing views of the Earth from space shared by astronauts. Having said that, chances are you will love the breathtaking pictures recently shared by the astronauts in SpaceX’s Inspiration4 spacecraft, which took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on September 15. It safely returned to Earth today.
The seven-seater SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft was recently launched from the Kennedy space center. Following the launch, astronauts from the Inspiration4 spacecraft shared four orbital photos of the Earth. You can check out the tweet right below.
The photos were taken from the cupola of the spacecraft, which is a dome-shaped, transparent viewing area that allows astronauts to get a unique glimpse of our planet from space. Not just that, SpaceX Inspiration4’s astronauts also shared a short video showing the sunset. You can check it out right here:
The astronauts include the Shift4 Payments CEO and founder Jared Isaacman, who financed the space mission and is currently the acting commander of the spacecraft, Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, and geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor.
Now, it is worth mentioning that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft can carry seven people onboard. However, the Inspiration4 mission only includes four astronauts aboard the spacecraft. As per reports, following the launch, the Inspiration4 spacecraft has now completed 15 orbits around Earth and is expected to complete a full orbit of the Earth every 90 minutes. If you want to monitor the progress of the flight, you can go to SpaceX’s official tracking website.
More space tourism to come after Inspiration4 crew returns from successful mission | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca
World's first space tourists splash down in their SpaceX capsule after three days in orbit – Yahoo Eurosport UK
Four space tourists safely splashed down in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Saturday, ending their trailblazing trip into orbit.
Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the ocean just before sunset, not far from where their chartered flight began three days earlier.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk took them on as the company’s first rocket-riding tourists.
The fully automated Dragon capsule reached an unusually high altitude of miles 585km after Wednesday night’s liftoff, that’s 160km above the International Space Station.
The passengers were able to take in views of Earth through a big bubble-shaped window added to the top of the capsule.
For more on this story, watch the full report in the media player above.
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