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Projected changes in permafrost (Northern Hemisphere) Projected changes in permafrost (Northern Hemisphere)
Modelled permafrost temperatures (mean annual temperature at the permafrost surface) for the Northern Hemisphere (Arctic), derived by applying climate conditions to a spatially distributed permafrost model. (a) Present-day: temperatures averaged over the years 1980– 1999. Present-day climatic conditions were based on the CRU2 data set with 0.5° x 0.5° latitude/longitude resolution. (b) Future: projected changes in temperatures in comparison with ...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in spring temperatures and ice break-up dates in Canada Trends in spring temperatures and ice break-up dates in Canada
In Canada, recent evidence indicates a shortening of the freshwater-ice season over much of the country with the reduction being mainly attributable to earlier break ups. These trends match those in surface air temperature during the last 50 years. For example, similar spatial and temporal patterns have been found between trends (1966 to 1995) in autumn and spring 0°C isotherms (lines on a map showing location of 0°C air temperatures) and lake fr...
01 Oct 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Regional changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice Regional changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice
There are major regional differences for the Arctic sea ice, with the strongest decline in ice extent observed for the Greenland Sea (10.6 per cent per decade). The smallest decreases of annual mean sea ice extent were found in the Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Archipelago and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In the marginal Arctic seas off Siberia (the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas) a slight negative, but not significant, trend in ice exten...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in permafrost temperatures during the last 23 to 28 years in northern Alaska Trends in permafrost temperatures during the last 23 to 28 years in northern Alaska
There has been a general increase in permafrost temperatures during the last several decades in Alaska, northwest Canada, Siberia, and northern Europe. Permafrost temperature records have been obtained uninterrupted for more than 20 years along the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Alaskan transect, which spans the entire continuous permafrost zone in the Alaskan Arctic. Records from all locations along the transect show a substantial w...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caucasus ice-rock avalanche in Russian Republic of North Ossetia Caucasus ice-rock avalanche in Russian Republic of North Ossetia
An ice-rock avalanche in the Kazbek region sheared off almost the entire Kolka Glacier and devastated the Genaldon valley. The satellite images show the region before (July 22, 2001) and after (October 6, 2002) the ice-rock avalanche of September 20, 2002.
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected changes in the Arctic climate, 2090 - with shipping routes Projected changes in the Arctic climate, 2090 - with shipping routes
The averages of the scenarios in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) are presented in this figure, for the year 2090, with the surface temperatures over land, the size of the polar ice cap, and the outer limits of permafrost. This map features shipping routes in addition - as the sea ice is decreasing, the potential for developing shipping in the Arctic increases.
20 Jul 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The colder Antarctic winter drives formation of the hole in the south The colder Antarctic winter drives formation of the hole in the south
The air inside the Antarctic polar vortex is much colder than midlatitude air. “When temperatures drop below -78°C, thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures. Chemical reactions on the surfaces of ice crystals in the clouds release active forms of CFCs. Ozone depletion begins, and the ozone “hole” appears.
01 Oct 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The “Hole”: a result of special weather conditions over the pole repeated every spring The “Hole”: a result of special weather conditions over the pole repeated every spring
The Antarctic continent is circled by a strong wind in the stratosphere which flows around Antarctica and isolates air over Antarctica from air in the midlatitudes. The region poleward of this jet stream is called the Antarctic polar vortex. The air inside the Antarctic polar vortex is much colder than midlatitude air.” “When temperatures drop below -78°C, thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures. Chemical reactions on th...
29 Nov 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Shrinking of Fedchenko Glacier in the Pamirs of Tajikistan Shrinking of Fedchenko Glacier in the Pamirs of Tajikistan
Significant loss of glaciers in Central Asia began around the 1930s, and become more dramatic in the second half of the 20th century and continue into the 21st century. Glacier area was reduced in the Tien Shan and in the Pamirs, including its largest Fedchenko Glacier. The debris-covered glacier tongue retreated by more than 1 km since 1933 and lowered by about 50 m since 1980.
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Glacier shrinking on Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island, Canadian Arctic Glacier shrinking on Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island, Canadian Arctic
A new glacier inventory based on satellite data shows that the glacier cover reduced by about 22 per cent between the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum extent and 2000. Changes in glacier area and volume are being used as indicators for climate change and global warming.
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caucasus ice-rock avalanche in Russian Republic of North Ossetia Caucasus ice-rock avalanche in Russian Republic of North Ossetia
An ice-rock avalanche in the Kazbek region sheared off almost the entire Kolka Glacier and devastated the Genaldon valley. The satellite images show the region before (July 22, 2001) and after (October 6, 2002) the ice-rock avalanche of September 20, 2002.
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Arctic map, political Arctic map, political
The Arctic is extremely diverse in terms of landscapes, varying from pack and drift ice to rugged shores, flat coastal plains, rolling hills and mountains surpassing 6000 metres above sea level (Denali, 6,194 m asl, in sub-arctic and boreal Alaska). The region has rivers and lakes, tundra and the largest forests in the world (the Russian Taiga). This is a simple grayscale political map.
11 Feb 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Natural resource - water (freshwater run-off) Natural resource - water (freshwater run-off)
Freshwater – a natural resource which has been adopted as a human right by the UN in 2002: 'the human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient; affordable; physically accessible; safe and acceptable water for personal and domestic uses'. People depend on this resource for drinking and cooking, for irrigation of farms, for hygiene and sanitation and for power generation. The map presenting this resource only focuses on one part of the geogra...
12 May 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Greenland, showing rates of surface-elevation change between the late 1990s and 2003 Greenland, showing rates of surface-elevation change between the late 1990s and 2003
Mass-balance estimates for Greenland show thickening at high elevations since the early 1990s at rates that increased to about 4 cm per year after 2000, consistent with expectations of increasing snowfall in a warming climate. However, this mass gain is far exceeded by losses associated with large increases in thinning of the ice sheet near the coast. Total loss from the ice sheet more than doubled, from a few tens of billions of tonnes per year ...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Major research stations in Antarctica Major research stations in Antarctica
Antarctica is interesting for many types of researchers. For example, glaciologists study the ice and snow, while oceanographers look at the oceans. The ice, snow and oceans affect the global climate and are presently changing as a result of global warming. The many other types of researchers who work here include geologists (who study rocks), astronomers (who study outer space), and meteorologists (who study the weather). How do researchers stud...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Historical trends in carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature Historical trends in carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature
The more recent history, from the middle ages and up until now, show increasing temperatures, rising as the world emerged from the Little Ice Age (LIA), around 1850. With the industrial era, human activities have at the same time increased the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases, and scientists have been able to connect human activities ...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Temperature increases in the Antarctic due to climate change, 2090 (NCAR-CCM3, SRES A2 experiment) Temperature increases in the Antarctic due to climate change, 2090 (NCAR-CCM3, SRES A2 experiment)
Climate change, due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has not lead as clear changes in the Antarctic as in the Arctic. Some of the ice shelves of the Antarctic peninsula have split up and started moving more rapidly, but the analyses of the Antarctic ice sheet are inconclusive. The projected climate situation in 2090 are presented in this figure, the temperatures are annual values from the NCAR-CCM3 model, ensembl...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Climate change - ice and snow and the albedo effect Climate change - ice and snow and the albedo effect
Changes in the polar regions can cause more warming in the entire planet earth system through feedback effects. One such effect is the reduction of ice and snow due to warmer temperatures. When the white and gray snow and ice disappears, less sun rays are reflected out and instead the heat is absorbed by land and sea - which causes further increase in the warming.
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage compared with currently used shipping routes Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage compared with currently used shipping routes
Climate models project that summer sea ice in the Arctic Basin will retreat further and further away from most Arctic landmasses, opening new shipping routes and extending the navigation season in the Northern Sea Route by between two and four months. Previously frozen areas in the Arctic may therefore become seasonally or permanently navigable, increasing the prospects for marine transport through the Arctic and providing greater access to Arcti...
01 Oct 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Arctic, topography and bathymetry (topographic map) Arctic, topography and bathymetry (topographic map)
The Arctic is extremely diverse in terms of landscapes, varying from pack and drift ice to rugged shores, flat coastal plains, rolling hills and mountains surpassing 6000 metres above sea level (Denali, 6,194 m asl, in sub-arctic and boreal Alaska). The region has rivers and lakes, tundra and the largest forests in the world (the Russian Taiga).
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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