Climate Change and Earth’s Cryosphere

Article written: 2 Sep , 2009
Updated: 23 Jan , 2013
by


Even though most of us do not live in the polar regions or don’t even see icebergs or ice sheets very often, no matter where you live, the snow and ice of the Earth’s cryosphere has an impact on your climate. NASA released an amazing new view of Earth’s frozen regions today, using visual satellite data to show, among other things, how sea ice is disappearing and glaciers are shrinking. These changes in the cryosphere have had a major impact on global climate, as the cryosphere is interconnected with other parts of the Earth system. Scientists are currently studying just how much the frozen places on Earth affect global warming, and the best way to view the remote icy parts of our planet is from space. This video shows satellite data in action, with striking high definition visuals and charts.

September is the month when the sea ice in the Arctic reaches its minimum annual extent, and that data that can act as an important indicator of long-term changes in the planet’s vital ice cover.


7 Responses

  1. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The image rendering is well done. We do have a problem here tearing down our planetary life support structure.

    LC

  2. IVAN3MAN says

    Despite this, there are still creationist/conspiracy nutters who are in denial about global warming. It was the same in the run-up to Pearl Harbor: all the warning signs were ignored until the s*** finally hit the fan, and everybody got caught with their trousers down, rushing around in a mad panic.

  3. IVAN3MAN says

    Oh, I almost forgot, there’s a typo in the fourth line; it should be data, not “date”. 😉

  4. kootstar says

    Very well do I understand the temperature changes and water loss due to this, at least here in the Rocky Mountain region. Old glaciers are disappearing in Glacier National Park. Our local water table has receded. Nearby mountains that used to keep small glacial areas all year most of the time are now dry by the end of July. (Personal observation of all over a year span of 50+.)

  5. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    Excellent imagery, worked for me. Worse presentation, though.

    IMHO they should have put the glacier flow sequence in front, to explain to new viewers what they are looking for. Likewise, they explained sea currents with words instead of imagery. Changing media is good, but not when visualizing is easier.

    [And, since it is connected with AGW, a fact or two about the carbon currently locked up by permafrost and cold water (clathrates) would have complemented the water cycle. Oh, well.]

    there are still creationist/conspiracy nutters who are in denial about global warming.

    Worse, there are fundamentalists who embraces AGW because they deny the mechanism (goddidit, as goddid and goddoes EVERYTHING) and/or are “godplannedittoend(anydaynow)”-ers. In the Pearl Harbor analogy, those were the enemy collaborators/spies.

    (Btw, kudos for still keeping your priorities straight! :-D)

  6. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    D’oh! “looking for” – looking at.

  7. Sili says

    I actually liked that there was no mention of causes or carbon.

    This way the video stands a piece of pure observation. Data and nothing else.

    It’s just one piece in the argument, but it’s an important and necessary one.

    Once we get people to admit the truth of the diminishing icecover we can move on to the fact that it is caused by warming which in turn is anthropogenic. Baby steps, baby steps.

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