Musings: Acceleration of Global Ice Loss, Feedbacks, and Biden’s Executive Actions on Climate Change

Musings: Acceleration of Global Ice Loss, Feedbacks, and Biden’s Executive Actions on Climate Change // Jan 27, 2021

A few days ago a landmark scientific review paper was published on Earth’s Global Ice Imbalance. The major findings of this satellite observational work is my primary focus in this 3 part video series, but mostly appears in video Parts 2 and 3.

In Part 1 (this video) I mostly chatted about some of what I have been up to the last few weeks (C++ programming, reading fiction and nonfiction, shoveling snow, plumbing and boiler repairs, etc.).

Also, I chatted briefly about some of Biden’s awesome Executive Actions on climate change, Feedbacks in the Earth System, and my plans for future videos on Peter Carter’s Climate Emergency Institute work. Regarding Earth’s Global Ice Imbalance, the Earth lost 28 trillion (million million) tons of ice between 1994 and 2017.

This loss in trillions of tons was:

  • 7.6 from Arctic Sea Ice,
  • 6.5 from Antarctic Ice Shelves,
  • 6.1 from Mountain Glaciers,
  • 3.8 from the Greenland Ice Sheet,
  • 2.5 from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and
  • 0.9 from Southern Ocean Sea Ice.

58% of the ice loss was from the Northern Hemisphere, with 42% from the Southern Hemisphere.

In the 1990s the yearly loss averaged 0.8 trillion tons, rising to 1.2 in the 2010s. Loss of grounded ice from Greenland and Antarctica and Mountain Glaciers rapidly increased global sea level rise.

68% of global ice loss is caused by atmospheric heating, with 32% caused by oceanic melting driving ice sheet discharge and ice shelf thinning and calving. The global melt of ice around the planet only took up 3.2% of the total global energy imbalance.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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