Ice is found all over the world in a wide variety of forms. More than simply frozen water, the various forms of ice tell the story of their environment as they change with the seasons and show trends of the changing climate on Earth. Scientists study core samples pulled from the depths of large ice formations, such as ice caps and glaciers, to uncover how the local climate has changed over hundreds of years and to help predict how climate will change in the future, said Melissa Hage, an environmental scientist and assistant professor at Oxford College of Emory University in Georgia. Here we define the common terms that describe the various types of ice formations found around the world. Glaciers Glaciers are large, freshwater ice masses on land that are formed from falling snow that eventually becomes so heavy that it's compressed into ice, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Glaciers range in size from about the length of a football field (120 yards, or 110 … [Read more...] about What Are the Different Types of Ice Formations Found on Earth?
Melting of ice caps
Warm water has penetrated deep into the frozen Arctic. So far, it's still hiding out far beneath the surface, but according to a new study, there's a serious risk that this warm water could rise and trigger a new wave of melting in the interior of our planet's already shriveled northern ice cap. Using older data from ships and newer data from permanent probes installed deep in the water, researchers showed that water in the Arctic Ocean's Canadian Basin has warmed significantly in recent years. That's thanks to a circular ocean current called the Beaufort Gyre, the researchers wrote, that pulls southern water north and under the Arctic's ice. As the planet has warmed, they found, the water delivered north along the Gyre has gotten warmer too. And once that heat gets to the Arctic ocean, it gets trapped there, so those permanent probes detect it year-round. [Photos Reveal How Earth's Glaciers Have Rapidly Disappeared] The trapping effect is the result of the Arctic Ocean's … [Read more...] about There’s a Huge ‘Archive’ of Heat Hiding Under Earth’s Arctic Ice
Today, a team of Italian scientists announced evidence that Mars has lakes of liquid water under its polar ice caps. While the evidence is a bit indirect and requires a number of assumptions, the alternatives that the researchers have considered fit the data worse. The announcement is likely to get scientists thinking about how to use existing instruments orbiting Mars to give this region a more careful examination. Under the poles Most parts of Mars spend much of the time at temperatures too low to support liquid water at the surface. Adding salt—and we've found lots of evidence of salt on Mars—can lower the freezing point of water by turning it into a brine. But that's not enough to overcome the extremely low pressures of the Martian atmosphere, which would cause any ice to sublimate off into vapor instead of melting. So the only realistic hope for significant amounts of liquid water is under the surface, at sufficient depth to create enough pressure to allow salt to … [Read more...] about Possible lake spotted under a polar ice cap—on Mars
By Daniel CleryJul. 25, 2018 , 10:00 AM Far beneath the deeply frozen ice cap at Mars’s south pole lies a lake of liquid water—the first to be found on the Red Planet. Detected from orbit using ice-penetrating radar, the lake is probably frigid and full of salts—an unlikely habitat for life. But the discovery, reported online today in Science, is sure to intensify the hunt for other buried layers of water that might be more hospitable. “It’s a very exciting result: the first indication of a briny aquifer on Mars,” says geophysicist David Stillman of Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who was not a part of the study. The lake resembles one of the interconnected pools that sit under several kilometers of ice in Greenland and Antarctica, says Martin Siegert, a geophysicist at Imperial College London, who heads a consortium trying to drill into Lake Ellsworth under West Antarctica. But the processes that gave rise to a deep lake on Mars … [Read more...] about Liquid water spied deep below polar ice cap on Mars
Vice President Mike Pence made a visit to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL) in Pasadena, California, last Saturday (April 28) to tour the facility and check out the preparations for NASA's newest Mars mission. Pence, who is the chair of the National Space Council, arrived one week before the agency's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander is scheduled to launch, according to a recentstatement by the space agency. The InSight mission is slated to take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this Saturday (May 5) and will begin looking for tectonic activity on Mars as early as November. Saturday's tour of JPL was one ofseveral stops the vice president made to the Southland — the region in California between Los Angeles and the U.S.-Mexico border — over the weekend, according to NBC San Diego. JPL Director Michael Watkins led Pence; his wife, Karen; and their daughter Charlotte on a private tour of several … [Read more...] about VP Pence Visits NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Ahead of Mars InSight Launch