, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Possible Forecast for Continued Antarctica Glacier Loss and Sea-Level Rise Due to Climate Change

Antarctica’s glaciers are melting more rapidly than previously known because of climate change, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report prepared in close collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey.

The USGS study documents for the first time that one ice shelf has completely disappeared and another has lost a chunk three times the size of Rhode Island.  This research is part of a larger ongoing project that is for the first time studying the entire Antarctic coastline.

“This study provides the first insight into the extent of Antarctica’s coastal and glacier change,” Salazar noted.  “The rapid retreat of glaciers there demonstrates once again the profound effects our planet is already experiencing-more rapidly than previously known– as a consequence of climate change.  The scientific work of USGS, which is investigating the impacts of climate change around the world, including an ongoing examination of glaciers, is a critical foundation of the Administration’s commitment to combat climate change.”

The USGS study focuses on Antarctica, which is the earth’s largest reservoir of glacial ice. In a separate study published in today’s Geophysical Letters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that ice is melting much more rapidly than expected in the Arctic as well, based on new computer analyses and recent ice measurements.

Using historical and recent satellite imagery, aerial photography and other data, as well as the newest mapping techniques, the USGS study released today maps recent glacier retreat along Antarctica’s Larsen and Wordie Ice Shelves.  It represents is just one map of several upcoming studies of Antarctica’s glaciers.

Scientists previously knew that the Wordie Ice Shelf has been retreating, but this study documents for the first time that it has completely disappeared.  Moreover, the northern part of the Larsen Ice Shelf no longer exists. An area more than three times the size of the State of Rhode Island (more than 8,500 km2) has broken off from the Larsen Ice Shelf since 1986.

USGS scientists report that these floating ice shelves are especially sensitive to climate change, so their rapid retreat may be a forecast for losses of the land-based ice sheet on the Antarctic continent if warming continues. This could result in sea-level rise, threatening low-lying coastal communities and islands.

“This continued and often significant glacier retreat is a wakeup call that change is happening in our Earth System and we need to be prepared,” said USGS glaciologist Jane G. Ferrigno, lead author on the study. “Antarctica is of special interest because it holds an estimated 91 percent of the Earth’s glacier volume, and change anywhere in the ice sheet poses significant hazards to society.”

The new report and map of the Larsen Ice Shelf are part of a project to research the coastal change and glaciological characteristics of the entire Antarctic margin. The research is also part of the USGS Glacier Studies Project that is monitoring and describing glacier extent and change over the whole planet using satellite imagery.

The research in Antarctica is a collaborative effort of the USGS and the British Antarctic Survey, with the assistance of the Scott Polar Research Institute and Germany’s Bundesamt fűr Kartographie und Geodäsie.

The report, “Coastal-Change and Glaciological Map of the Larsen Ice Shelf Area, Antarctica: 1940-2005” and its accompanying map, is available online.

The other completed reports in the Coastal Change and Glaciological Maps of Antarctica series can also be viewed online.

USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.

Subscribe to USGS News Releases via our electronic mailing list or RSS feed.

**** http://www.usgs.gov ****

Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.

New USGS Study Documents Rapid Disappearance of Antarctica’s Ice Shelves
Released: 4/3/2009 5:34:22 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

Joan Moody 1-click interview
Phone: 202-208-6416

Jessica Robertson 1-click interview
Phone: (703) 648-6624

Richard Williams, Jr. 1-click interview
Phone: 508-540-6405

U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2186
Page Contact Information: Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: 4/6/2009 7:53:20 AM



great slide show on this page – click on any image and it will take you to the story – very interesting stuff – (the second image right now is about the earthquakes in Italy mapped out using the PAGER system)


Story from China invention –

Chinese pensioner designs stair-climbing chair 08/04 21:10 CET

Li Rongbiao had been looking forward to a quiet retirement. But after he left his job aged 65 a few years ago, his wife had an accident.



Redoubt Volcano Latest Observations
2009-04-15 04:24:10

2009-04-15 02:21:58

2009-04-15 00:20:55

2009-04-14 23:01:02

2009-04-14 10:08:45

Follow these updates on Twitter: http://twitter.com/alaska_avo


Location of Redoubt volcano and other Cook Inlet volcanoes with respect to nearby cities and towns. (Click to view full-size image.)

Epidemiology: General Volcano Information


USGS and The Great Southern California ShakeOut!

The ShakeOut science scenario depicts a magnitude 7.8 earthquake striking the Southern San Andreas Fault, starting at the Salton Sea and rupturing northward 190 miles. In the scenario, the earthquake would kill 1800 people, injure 50,000, cause $200 billion in damage, and have long-lasting social and economic consequences.

This is the most comprehensive analysis ever of what a major Southern California earthquake would mean and is being used as the basis for The Great Southern California Shakeout, November 12-18, 2008, which includes the largest earthquake preparedness drill in United States history. Register to participate, and find out what you can do, at www.shakeout.org.

USGS ShakeOut Scenario Scientific Studies and Products

The USGS led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 300 experts from academia and industry, public and private sectors to develop the ShakeOut Scenario and communicate it to end users including emergency managers and the general public. USGS scientists have also used the scenario’s results to conduct additional research. Many products are available for download, including Shakeout Scenario Reports, Narrative, Studies, Maps, and Movies.



Results Are In: Great Southern California ShakeOut Successful, Sets U.S. Record!
(Released: Fri, 19 Dec 2008 15:02:12 EST)


How Science Helps Communities Prepare for and Survive Earthquakes
(Released: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 19:40:51 EST)


Maps, Imagery, and Publications


Today’s Earthquake Fact

The origin of the name of the San Andreas Fault is often cited as the San Andreas Lake. However, based on some 1895 and 1908 reports by geologist A.C. Lawson, who named the fault, the name was actually taken from the San Andreas Valley. Lawson likely did not realize at the time that the fault ran almost the entire length of California.




2009 April 14 22:44:45 UTC

Earthquake Details

Magnitude 5.0
Location 19.328°N, 155.210°W
Depth 9.9 km (6.2 miles)



The USGS received approximately $140 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help upgrade and improve some of the USGS laboratories and research capabilities and the energy efficiency, health, and safety of the bureau’s facilities. This money will also go toward modernizing streamgages, adding monitoring equipment to the Advanced National Seismic System, expanding our volcano monitoring efforts, collecting imagery as part of The National Map, and upgrading research facilities.

[see list on this page]

DOI Recovery Investments by Bureau

Select a bureau below to learn more about how each is contributing to America’s economic recovery.
[click on logos at bottom of the page to see individual agency uses of Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds by each bureau]



Nissan Brings Electric Car Prototype To Portland

Nissan will unveil a prototype of its new electric car in Portland Monday. As Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, the carmaker plans to introduce the new model in Oregon next year and then market it worldwide in 2012.What she means by “real cars” is that they’re not the tiny “bubble cars” that used to be associated with electric vehicles; that they seat five people; and that they can travel more than 40 miles between charges.

Nissan is a latecomer to the electric vehicle market.

Its plan has been to sign a “memorandum of understanding” with Oregon. The company will launch its car here and in exchange Oregon, PGE and several other large companies will build a network of charging stations.


Oregon is one of seven states vying for the company to build a factory for its small car in the United States.

Then Tuesday, the governor and the CEO of a Norwegian electric car maker have scheduled a press conference.

Nissan is targeting Oregon as an introductory market because the state has the highest per capita number of hybrid owners in the nation.



Nissan Motor unveils new prototype electric car

Nissan Motor Co. unveiled a new prototype electric vehicle Wednesday with batteries twice as powerful as conventional technology, aiming to take a lead in zero-emission cars.Japan’s third-largest automaker said the front-wheel drive, boxy-shaped car has a newly developed 80 kilowatt motor with advanced lithium-ion batteries installed under the vehicle’s floor to avoid taking up space.

The laminated batteries, jointly developed with electronics giant NEC Corp., pack twice the electric power of conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries currently used in hybrid and electric cars, it said.

Aug 6 03:59 AM US/Eastern



Nissan's quickie electric car - promised by 2010 and in US, 2012

Nissan's quickie electric car - promised by 2010 and in US, 2012


Recession fueling right-wing extremism, U.S. says

Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:56pm EDT

By Jane Sutton

MIAMI (Reuters) – Right-wing extremists in the United States are gaining new recruits by exploiting fears about the economy and the election of the first black U.S. president, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a report to law enforcement officials.

The April 7 report, which Reuters and other news media obtained on Tuesday, said such fears were driving a resurgence in “recruitment and radicalization activity” by white supremacist groups, antigovernment extremists and militia movements. It did not identify any by name.

DHS had no specific information about pending violence and said threats had so far been “largely rhetorical.”

But it warned that home foreclosures, unemployment and other consequences of the economic recession “could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists.”




Quality of Water from Domestic Wells in the United States

by Leslie A. DeSimone, Pixie A. Hamilton, and Robert J. GilliomThis study from the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses water-quality conditions for about 2,100 domestic wells across the United States. As many as 219 properties and contaminants, including pH, major ions, nutrients, trace elements, radon, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds, were measured. Fecal indicator bacteria and additional radionuclides were analyzed for a smaller number of wells. The large number of contaminants assessed and the broad geographic coverage of the present study provides a foundation for an improved understanding of the quality of water from the major aquifers tapped by domestic supply wells in the United States.

The results of this study are described in two USGS publications, including an overview of the study findings (Circular 1332) and a detailed technical report on data sources, analyses, and results (Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5227). Both publications can be downloaded in PDF format from the NAWQA website (see below). Also available in PDF format are two related articles in the Water Well Journal of the National Ground Water Association, which briefly summarize USGS study findings and general information on domestic well maintenance, siting, and testing.


Press Release



My note –

There are a lot of problems I don’t have right now –

* I don’t have to worry about contaminants in well water because I drink tap water that has its own street address because of “personality”. Atlanta and its surrounding areas have proven there is some use in bottled water. We have more pharmaceuticals in the water than most towns prescribe for their entire population over an entire year.

* I don’t have to worry about earthquakes because in Georgia we let these things happen above ground that blow everything slap to hell – tornadoes, lightning storms, wind gusts that will take your fake fingernails off.

* I don’t have to worry about the credit crisis because nobody in any bank is going to lend money to me regardless unless I go get some rental furniture and manage to spend $200 a month paying for it over ten or twenty years when I could’ve bought it for $500 in the first place.

* And, I don’t have to worry about electric cars, alternative fuels, hybrid cars or other things like that because there is enough natural gas in Georgia and throughout the Southeast to blow any car on down the road without eating beans beforehand. Believe this, I have a lot of family in the South and there is not a shortage of naturally occurring fuels and fertilizers around here.

And, just in case nobody knew this, I don’t have to worry about living in California anymore because apparently they are practicing for what to do when the place slides into the ocean. I can swim , but no . . .

Just a thought or two.

– cricketdiane, 04-15-09


Really good ideas – really bad ideas – Impossible really to tell the difference –  [ but to what extent does it matter? ] and places to find some nifty helpful information about ice melting, Oregon and electric cars, earthquakes and volcanoes – and right-wing extremists – oh no –

Okay, so this is the worst title yet. But, there you go . . .