Tuesday February 18, 2020

Greenland Might be Ice-Free by Year 3000 if Greenhouse Gas Emissions Remain on Current Trajectory

Currently, the planet is moving toward the high estimates of greenhouse gas concentrations

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greenland
The team used data from a NASA airborne science campaign called 'Operation IceBridge'. Pixabay

Greenland could lose 4.5 per cent of its ice, contributing up to 13 inches of sea level rise, by the end of this century if worldwide greenhouse gas emissions remain on their current trajectory, warns a new study. The island might be ice-free by the year 3000, said the study published in the journal Science Advances.

“How Greenland will look in the future — in a couple of hundred years or in 1,000 years — whether there will be Greenland or at least a Greenland similar to today, it’s up to us,” said lead author Andy Aschwanden, Research Associate Professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute in the US.

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This research used new data on the landscape under the ice today to make breakthroughs in modelling the future. Pixabay

This research used new data on the landscape under the ice today to make breakthroughs in modelling the future. The findings show a wide range of scenarios for ice loss and sea level rise based on different projections for greenhouse gas concentrations and atmospheric conditions.

Currently, the planet is moving toward the high estimates of greenhouse gas concentrations. Greenland’s ice sheet is huge, spanning over 660,000 square miles. Today, the ice sheet covers 81 per cent of Greenland and contains eight of Earth’s fresh water bodies.

If greenhouse gas concentrations remain on the current path, the melting ice from Greenland alone could contribute as much as 24 feet to global sea level rise by the year 3000, which would put much of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans and other cities under water, said the study.

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Currently, the planet is moving toward the high estimates of greenhouse gas concentrations. Pixabay

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The team used data from a NASA airborne science campaign called ‘Operation IceBridge’. Operation IceBridge uses aircraft equipped with a full suite of scientific instruments, including three types of radar that can measure the ice surface, the individual layers within the ice and penetrate to the bedrock to collect data about the land beneath the ice.

On average, Greenland’s ice sheet is 1.6 miles thick, but there is a lot of variation depending on where you measure. Between 1991 and 2015, Greenland’s ice sheet has added about 0.02 inches per year to sea level, but that could rapidly increase. (IANS)

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Here’s How Fish Sticks Can Generate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Shipping has a massive influence on climate and a shift to cleaner fuels will diminish the cooling effect from sulfur oxides and increase the climate impact

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A study found that Alaskan pollock is a relatively fuel-efficient fishery: Pollock are caught in large nets called midwater trawls that are towed behind boats, hauling in a lot of fish in each landing and reducing the climate impact of the fishing process. Pixabay

Researchers have found that transforming ‘Alaskan pollock’ into fish sticks, imitation crab and fish fillets generates nearly twice the greenhouse gas emissions produced by fishing itself.

Post-catch processing generates nearly twice the emissions produced by fishing itself, which is typically where the analysis of the climate impact of seafood ends, according to the findings, published in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

“The food system is a significant source of global greenhouse gas emissions, and Alaskan pollock is one of the biggest fisheries in the world,” said study researcher Brandi McKuin from Unviersity of California in the US.

“These findings highlight the need to take a comprehensive approach to analysing the climate impacts of the food sector,” McKuin added. “Alaskan pollock is sold as fillets and trim pieces that are used to make products like fish sticks and imitation crab, it’s a huge market,” she said.

Unlike previous studies that have largely overlooked the downstream processing activities associated with Alaskan pollock, this study examined all the components of the supply chain, from fishing through the retail display case.

The results identify “hot spots” where the seafood industry could concentrate its efforts to reduce its climate impacts, said the researchers. For the findings, the research team analysed the climate impacts of transoceanic shipping of exported seafood products.

They found that Alaskan pollock is a relatively fuel-efficient fishery: Pollock are caught in large nets called midwater trawls that are towed behind boats, hauling in a lot of fish in each landing and reducing the climate impact of the fishing process.

After the catch, Alaskan pollock are shipped for processing, and in some cases, transported on large container ships that burn copious amounts of fuel, including cheaper, poor-quality bunker fuel that produces high levels of sulfur particles. The researchers noted that sulfur oxides from ship fuels have a climate-cooling effect.

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Post-catch processing of fish generates nearly twice the emissions produced by fishing itself, which is typically where the analysis of the climate impact of seafood ends, according to the findings, published in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. Pixabay

“Seafood products that are exported have a lower climate impact than domestic seafood products,” she said, adding that the climate impacts of shipping will change this year as new regulations for cleaner marine fuels take effect.

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“Shipping has a massive influence on climate and a shift to cleaner fuels will diminish the cooling effect from sulfur oxides and increase the climate impact of products that undergo transoceanic shipping, including seafood,” said McKuin. (IANS)