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John Wheeler, Published June 18 2012

Weather Talk: Recent journal articles give insight on warming

Two recent articles in the journal Science have provided some interesting insight to our climate.

A 12-year study using time-lapse satellite photography has shown the Greenland glacier fields to be moving seaward and melting in a more staccato fashion that has been feared. The stop-and-go flowage suggests that any future rises in the world sea level due to glacial melt will be less than the worse-case scenarios. This makes the forecasts of ocean levels rising 3 feet by 2100 very unlikely, although smaller rises are still quite possible.

Meanwhile, another study in Science has shown that as the world’s temperature has risen since 1950, sea salinity has shifted. Basically, the saltier parts of the oceans have grown even saltier while the fresher sea water has grown less salty. This is probably due to similar increases in both evaporation and rainfall as Earth’s temperature has warmed.


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