Agriculture
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Tree Frogs
Poison Dart Frogs
Animals
Living in the Desert
Sea Lilies on the Run
Monkey Math
Behavior
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
The nerve of one animal
The Snappy Lingo of Instant Messages
Birds
Carnivorous Birds
Lovebirds
Hummingbirds
Chemistry and Materials
The solar system's biggest junkyard
A Light Delay
Smelly Traps for Lampreys
Computers
Galaxies far, far, far away
The Book of Life
Computers with Attitude
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Bite Leaves a Tooth
Digging Dinos
Digging for Ancient DNA
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
Riding to Earth's Core
Deep History
Environment
The Wolf and the Cow
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Plastic Meals for Seals
Finding the Past
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Ancient Cave Behavior
Oldest Writing in the New World
Fish
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Trout
Mako Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Making good, brown fat
The mercury in that tuna
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Capitalization Rules
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Losing with Heads or Tails
Human Body
Smiles Turn Away Colds
Attacking Asthma
Spit Power
Invertebrates
Bedbugs
Wasps
Mussels
Mammals
Kodiak Bear
African Elephants
Manatees
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Children and Media
Physics
Invisibility Ring
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Plants
The algae invasion
Assembling the Tree of Life
Nature's Alphabet
Reptiles
Chameleons
Komodo Dragons
Boa Constrictors
Space and Astronomy
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
A Dusty Birthplace
Cool as a Jupiter
Technology and Engineering
Beyond Bar Codes
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
Bionic Bacteria
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Verb?
What is a Noun
Transportation
Robots on a Rocky Road
Flying the Hyper Skies
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Add your Article

Science loses out when ice caps melt

It’s hard to imagine a mountain range without snow-covered peaks. But that may soon be the case in countries in or near the tropics. Studies show that the ice that sits atop the world’s highest mountains is vanishing at an alarming rate, threatening to leave the summits bare. The accelerated melting of these glacial caps is visible evidence that Earth is getting warmer, scientists say. Most of Earth's glaciers have been shrinking for decades as our climate has been warming from natural causes and human activity. Although Earth’s atmosphere is warming nearly everywhere, the greatest warming has been taking place at high elevations and in tropical portions of the world, says Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist — or scientist who studies glaciers — at Ohio State University. In very high tropical glaciers, temperatures have been warming at three times the speed of increases at ground level. Most mountain peaks are high enough that the snow that falls onto them will stay frozen year-round. That’s because air at high altitudes is less dense and holds less heat. As the snow piles higher and higher, the bottom layers become compressed into ice, forming a glacier — a slowly moving river of ice. For scientists, the real beauty of glaciers is that there’s so little melting. A year’s worth of snow can be crunched down to form an annual layer that normally survives hundreds — if not thousands — of years. Essentially the deeper you probe down into a glacier’s ice, the farther back in time you get. Those annual ice layers — “they’re like tree rings,” says Thompson, who has traveled the world, measuring the shriveling snowcaps atop some of the world’s highest mountains. His studies show that the huge Quelccaya (kal KI’ yah) Ice Cap, a tropical glacier that stretches across the Peruvian Andes, is shriveling by about 18 inches a day. “You can almost sit there and watch it lose ground,” Thompson says. Another glacier — one that sits atop Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania — has been melting steadily for nearly 100 years and has lost 84 percent of its ice. Like tree rings, the layers found in glaciers also have an important story to tell. Because snowpacks absorb chemicals, pollen and dust from the atmosphere, the ice masses that sit atop mountains have been collecting data about the climate for centuries or more. As these ice caps rapidly disappear, they are taking their historical records with them. Losing data of this type means losing some important history about the long-lasting impacts of natural climate, Thompson says. He and his colleagues have been busy drilling into the snow-covered mountain tops to obtain ice cores before the rate of melting causes these records to vanish. To date they have preserved some 7,000 ice cores. One ice core from Mount Kilimanjaro contains climate data going back 11,700 years. That’s longer than any documented history. These ice cores can tell scientists about the role that climate played in the rise and fall of cultures throughout history. The core sampled atop Mt. Kilimanjaro, for example, shows a three-millimeter-thick band of black dust. It initially settled onto the snowpack some 4,200 years ago. This date corresponds to archaeological records showing a 300-year drought in Egypt. Thompson and others believe that the history preserved in the ice cores may also help foretell Earth’s future climate. For example, data from the glaciers offers clues as to how past temperature changes affected El Niños, the atmospheric-oceanic disturbances that hit the central West Pacific every few years. Studies of these data may help scientists predict how droughts and floods caused by an El Niño might grow as the world warms in decades to come.

Science loses out when ice caps melt
Science loses out when ice caps melt








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™