This latest study adds to research that suggests assumptions about underwater melting at glaciers need to be revisited – because of the alarming effects of the phenomenon on rising sea levels. Rebecca Jackson has been working at LeConte Glacier in Alaska to investigate the submarine melting of glaciers. The glacier is known for its "shooter" icebergs which calve off underneath the water (LeConte Bay is 810 feet (250 m) deep) and shoot out of the water due to their buoyancy. They also measured the speed of currents, temperature and salinity of the meltwater flow. Alaska’s Muir Glacier, like many Alaskan glaciers, has retreated and thinned dramatically since the 19th century. The scientists studied the underwater melting of the LeConte Glacier, a tidewater glacier in Alaska, from 2016-2018. It flows southwest to the head of LeConte Bay. fjord, and then to estimate submarine melting at the face. By 2100, global sea levels may rise 1 meter or more. RAPID SUBMARINE MELTING, LECONTE GLACIER 5156. likely to increase in a warming climate, the relationship be-tween discharge and melting observed at LeConte Glacier has important implications for marine-terminating glaciers. LeConte Glacier feeds into the ocean near Petersburg at a rate of 90 feet a day. A glacier flows naturally like a river, only much more slowly. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. As it melts, LeConte Glacier is behaving like almost every other glacier in our warming world, contributing to sea-level rise that threatens coastal cities from Sri Lanka to Sweden. Existing models are ‘wildly inaccurate’ and significantly underestimated extent of melting, scientists say, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Where that ice tongue dips into salty water, scientists recently measured melting much greater than predicted. The researchers found melt … The study follows one published last year in the journal Science that measured glacier melt rates by pointing sonar at the LeConte Glacier from a distant ship. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. The researchers found melt … LeConte is the southern-most tidewater glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. In a July Science paper, a group of researchers used a multibeam sonar system — the same technology anglers use to find large schools of fish in the ocean — to directly measure underwater melting rates for the first time. The less ice there is, the less water there is for human use, whether it's for drinking, hydroelectric generation, or irrigation. Over two years, a group of glaciologists, oceanographers and engineers measured melting of the LeConte Glacier in Southeast Alaska. In 2019 acoustic observations found that the submarine part of LeConte Glacier melts significantly faster than previously predicted by scientific theory. The researchers found melt … Watch the local wildlife along the way and visit a quaint Norwegian fishing village. LECONTE GLACIER LeConte Glacier is located approximately 35 km east of Petersburg, Alaska, and is the Northern Hemisphere’s The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. The findings suggest scientists may need to consider additional factors when predicting ice melt in glacier … Away from these discharge outlets, the glacier melts directly into the ocean waters in a regime called ambient melting. In a National Science Foundation-funded project, a team of scientists, led by University of Oregon oceanographer Dave Sutherland, studied the subsurface melting of the LeConte Glacier… All of these data are included, but the short analysis represented in these tables and graphs emphasizes the 1961-2001 time period. Tidewater glaciers, the massive rivers of ice that end in the ocean, may be melting underwater much … LeConte Glacier is a 21-mile (34 km) and 1-mile (1.6 km) glacier in the U.S. state of Alaska. Oceanographer Dave Sutherland of the University of Oregon and colleagues studied the underwater melting of the LeConte Glacier, which lies south of Juneau in Alaska. Being south of the 57th parallel north, LeConte Glacier is the southernmost tidewater glacier of the Northern Hemisphere. As glaciers shrink, the melting is disrupting habitats for everything from bacteria to fish. The team believe their approach could be used to study melting rates at other types of glaciers. CORVALLIS, Ore. – New acoustic observations mapping the changing face of the LeConte Glacier in southeast Alaska show that the rate of submarine melt is much higher than previously predicted by scientific theory, a new study published today in the journal Science shows. It flows southwest to the head of LeConte Bay. Study co-author Rebecca Jackson, of Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the US, said: “We found that melt rates are significantly higher than expected across the whole underwater face of the glacier – in some places 100 times higher than theory would predict.”. Underwater glacial melting is happening up to 100 times faster than previously thought, a major study has found. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? The theory, used in modeling to project climate-driven sea level rise, was shot down in its first real-world test and may need to be … “We have opened the door to correcting these models and allowing other researchers to use our method to explore other tidewater glaciers around the world," lead researcher Dr David Sutherland told The Independent. IMAGE: Underwater melting of tidewater glaciers is occurring much faster than previously thought, according to a new study of the LeConte Glacier in Alaska.view more . The technology found the massive rivers of ice may be melting under the LeConte Glacier much faster than previously thought. Students from Petersburg High School visiting also regularly to monitor its historical retreat. Dr Sutherland added: “Future sea-level rise is primarily determined by how much ice is stored in these ice sheets. Leconte glacier 2016 phantom 3 footage A short film by Elliot Nash (age 12) during our 2016 expedition. “To improve the modelling, we have to know more about where melting occurs and the feedbacks involved.”. They found existing models were “wildly inaccurate”. New data from UO-led study may change glacial melt predictions July 24, 2019 - 10:36am Working in ice-clogged seawater in small chartered boats, a University of Oregon-led research team successfully used sonar to scan Alaska’s LeConte Glacier in the first field tests of a long-used theory on melting that occurs under glaciers. But now, researchers have used robotic kayaks to monitor plumes of freshwater coming from beneath glaciers, and found that they’re melting much faster than we thought. The biggest and most notable impact of these glaciers melting is in the rise of sea level. Advancing the research, to be done at Alaska’s LeConte Glacier near Petersburg, about 110 miles southeast of Juneau, could deliver scientists a refined method to improve projections of glacier loss worldwide amid anticipated sea-level rise in a warming climate. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. LeConte is the southern-most tidewater glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Working in ice-clogged seawater in small chartered boats, a University of Oregon-led research team successfully used sonar to scan Alaska’s LeConte Glacier in the first field tests of a long-used theory on melting that occurs under glaciers. An autonomous kayak surveys the ocean in front of the 20-mile-long LeConte Glacier in Alaska. The newly observed melt rates are up to two orders of magnitude greater than those calculated by some current predictive models. Of the many glaciers that the famous naturalist John Muir explored, he claimed the LeConte Glacier was his favorite. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. A pole holds the sonar instrument that collects data on the subsurface ice, A krill fishing ship with unknown nationality in Half Moon Bay, Waves break on Greenpeace ship ‘Arctic Sunrise’ at the Drake Passage, LeConte Glacier, which flows into LeConte Bay, Iceberg size of Manhattan breaks off shelf in Antarctica in timelapse video, Underwater glacial melting up to 100 times faster than thought, Trump administration removing online references to climate change, This brutal heatwave is our fault – let's not forget that. The kayak measures ocean currents and water properties to study the underwater melting of the glacier and track meltwater as it spreads in the ocean. LeConte is the southern-most tidewater glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. The study follows one published last year in the journal Science that measured glacier melt rates by pointing sonar at the LeConte Glacier from a distant ship. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Where that ice tongue dips into salty water, scientists … LeConte Glacier near Petersburg is the farthest-south glacier that spills into the sea on this side of the equator. In the United States, glaciers can be found in the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, and throughout Alaska. Over two years, a group of glaciologists, oceanographers and engineers measured melting of the LeConte Glacier in Southeast Alaska. The LeConte Glacier in southeast Alaska is a 21-mile long fast-flowing tidewater glacier, which terminates abruptly in a fjord––spilling its contents into the ocean. Ice sheets like LeConte Glacier in Alaska (left) don’t just melt on their open-air surfaces; they can also lose ice underwater. Scientists studied the underwater melting of LeConte Glacier, which flows into LeConte Bay in south Juneau in Alaska between 2016 and 2018. But the latest study, published in the journal Science, found that ocean salinity and the shape of the glacier was also important. The LeConte Glacier in southeast Alaska is a 21-mile long fast-flowing tidewater glacier, which terminates abruptly in a fjord––spilling its contents into the ocean. Iceberg calving was detected using time-lapse photography, and weather station data measured surface melt. You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. According to John Muir's book about indigenous peoples of the area, the Tlingits called it “Huti [sic]” which he claimed derived from a mythical bird that produced sounds of thunder when it flapped its wings. They used sonar to scan and profile the underwater face of the glacier. They used sonar to … LeConte Glacier is a 21-mile (34 km) and 1-mile (1.6 km) glacier in the U.S. state of Alaska. Mass balances of more than 300 glaciers have been measured at one time or another since 1946. July 25, 2019. The study also found that melt rates are higher in the summer than in the spring and that changes in the melting rate can lead to undercutting and uppercutting eating away at the glaciers. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Scientists studied the underwater melting of LeConte Glacier, which flows into LeConte Bay in south Juneau in Alaska between 2016 and 2018. You won’t believe your eyes or ears when you see the stunning blue icebergs and hear the thunder of thousand year old ice crashing into the sea. Scientists programmed autonomous kayaks to … The study also found that melt rates are higher in the summer than in the spring and that changes in the melting rate can lead to undercutting and uppercutting eating away at the glaciers. Our estimates are compared to analytical expressions for buoyant convective flow and forced convection that have been derivedfor icebergs drifting in seawater. In some places, the researchers recorded the glacier melting 100 times … The study follows one published last year in the journal Science that measured glacier melt rates by pointing sonar at the LeConte Glacier from a distant ship. LeConte Glacier feeds into the ocean near Petersburg at a rate of 90 feet a day. Glaciers are a crucial element of the world's ecosystem. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Being south of the 57th parallel north, LeConte Glacier is the southernmost tidewater glacier of the Northern Hemisphere . According to John Muir's book about indigenous peoples of the area, the Tlingits called it “Huti [sic]” which he claimed derived from a mythical bird that produced sounds of thunder when it flapped its wings. … Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Scientists are racing to understand the changes. It was named in 1887 by U.S. Navy Lieutenant-Commander Charles M. Thomas in honor of a California biologist Joseph LeConte. The study follows one published last year in the journal Science that measured glacier melt rates by pointing sonar at the LeConte Glacier from a distant ship. Uncertainty in these projections is tied to the melting of glaciers at the dangerous ice cliffs where glaciers flow into the ocean. Coordinates: 56°56′46″N 132°19′46″W / 56.94611°N 132.32944°W / 56.94611; -132.32944, "New observations find Alaskan glacier melt rates significantly higher than predicted by theory", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=LeConte_Glacier&oldid=940679132, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 February 2020, at 23:57. July 24, 2019 - 10:36am. Scientists studied the underwater melting of LeConte Glacier, which flows into LeConte Bay in south Juneau in Alaska between 2016 and 2018. The glacier is a popular tourist destination, with operators from nearby Petersburg and Wrangell running excursions to its calving face. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Graphic: Dramatic glacier melt There’s nothing quite like historical photos of glaciers to show what a dynamic planet we live on. LeConte Glacier near Petersburg is the farthest-south glacier that spills into the sea on this side of the equator. Credit: NOAA. Why is there a UK heatwave and how does it relate to climate change? A glacier is a large mass of snow and ice that has accumulated over many years and is present year-round. Alaska's LeConte Glacier is melting underwater at rates nearly a hundred times greater than what is currently estimated, according to a detailed sonar survey of the glacier's submerged surfaces. Photo: David Sutherland/University of Oregon. The study follows one published last year in the journal Science that measured glacier melt rates by pointing sonar at the LeConte Glacier from … LeConte Glacier near Petersburg is the farthest-south glacier that spills into the sea on this side of the equator. (Representational/ National Park Service) Underwater melting of tidewater glaciers is occurring much faster than previously thought, according to a study which could lead to improved forecasting of climate-driven sea level rise. We are focusing on the ocean-ice interfaces because that’s where the extra melt and ice is coming from that controls how fast ice is lost. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Until now, scientists did not know how fast these glaciers – which are found in Greenland, Alaska and Antarctica – were melting under the surface. Research vessel MV Steller, used in May 2017 to observe melt at LeConte Glacier in Alaska. The terminus of LeConte Glacier lies in an ocean bay about 25 miles east of Petersburg in Southeast Alaska. For the first time, researchers directly measured the melting of tidewater glaciers below the waterline. Also of the same namesake and part of the Alaska Marine Highway is the ferry M/V LeConte. Researchers previously used water and air temperature, as well as ocean currents, to measure the melt speed. In the National Science Foundation-funded project, the scientists studied the underwater melting of the LeConte Glacier, a tidewater glacier in Alaska, from 2016-2018. The glacier sheds ice from its 200-meter face in calamitous calving events when large blocks of ice drop into LeConte Bay. Researchers at Alaska's LeConte Glacier in 2016. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. In 2019 acoustic observations found that the submarine part of LeConte Glacier melts significantly faster than previously predicted by scientific theory.[2]. Ice sheets like LeConte Glacier in Alaska (left) don’t just melt on their open-air surfaces; they can also lose ice underwater. LeConte Glacier near Petersburg is the farthest-south glacier that spills into the sea on this side of the equator. CORVALLIS, Ore. – New acoustic observations mapping the changing face of the LeConte Glacier in southeast Alaska show that the rate of submarine melt is much higher than previously predicted by scientific theory, a new study published today in the journal Science shows. [8] We ascribe the large increases in subglacial discharge The critical link between glaciers and climate is the glacier mass balance. Heavy ice conditions made it difficult to obtain data near the glacier … [1], Since its discovery, the glacier has retreated nearly 2.5 miles (4.0 km), although it is considered to be in a stable position today [1]. For three years, they used the methodology to survey the LeConte Glacier in Alaska. It was named in 1887 by U.S. Navy Lieutenant-Commander Charles M. Thomas in honor of a California biologist Joseph LeConte. Ocean warming has been linked to widespread retreat of marine-terminating glaciers, with submarine melting as the presumed trigger for glacier changes. 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