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Antarctica Unplugged

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and if you don't he
and at the but it did not contribute Hi
there
yeah thank you very much and things to all of you for joining me on this journey cells and were traveling a few thousand kilometers south to essentially the bottom of the Earth
so this is where you find the majestic and Arctic ice sheets and wasn't that long ago that the great explorers and adventurers set out on the same journey to discover the last consonant 1
of them was siRNAs check open and I am well even though at this point in time and the Antarctic ice sheet was widely still unknown territory he still at some idea of what to expect on this journey and you can see this from the job at that he put out in order to recruit men to come with him there it
says man once for hazardous journey small wages bitter cold long months of complete darkness constant danger
safe return doubtful however on and recognition in case of success I don't know how many of you would join him on this kind of journey and adventure well sure enough about 100 years later almost exactly 100 years later actually I set out on scene during a joint an expedition to Antarctica and even though I cannot know for sure whatever Shackleton and his men salt when they 1st arrived there and
almost certain it was something like this and this is my very 1st impression of
Antarctica and when we arrived there and I remember it like it was yesterday so and it was actually during the nights and and I woke up it imagine this was them in summer so we actually have 24 hours of daylight held
up all of a sudden because it had become pitch
dark cannot happen so I I ran upstairs and to the deck to see what was going on and I still can see very much and then I looked up and in finding he was really the the wall of ice just reaching out of the ocean and this was 1 of the 1st pictures taken in that moment and yes you can see this is really like a cluster of eyes and at this particular spot
and about 30 meters of them were reaching out of the oceans above sea level which means that all in all this wall applies at this point was about 300 meters thick I was actually impressed by the sheer size of the ice shelf edge
and and I also remember thinking will no wonder they call this the eternalize because I mean if something this massive it really seems like him nothing could ever change
this or really affect the well I was really wrong that that the and so so this was uh the expedition back then and he really can be impressed by the sheer size of the Antarctic ice sheet and in fact an Arctic as kind of the
continent of superlatives it is of course the coldest place on earth and but also it is the windiest place on and what might be most surprising it's also the
driest continent and this is although the the almost the entire continent is covered by a really thick ice sheet in some places this sheet is more than 4 thousand meters thick and you if you imagine this was like stacking a dozen empire state building on top of each other all made of ice so this the sheer size
is impressive this is really a massive ice sheets and the question is yes this is all really fascinating and interesting but why should we
care why should you care and I think 2 numbers that really some this very well how are these ones this is the so-called sea-level
potential what this means is if the ice sheet melted down and and you you took the amount water and distributed that it over the entire ocean this is how much sea level would rise globally that
means that the western Arctic ice sheet alone holds enough ice to raise global sea level by more than 5 meters and eastern arctic uh the temples more than 50 meters worth of sea level rise are stored in the ice sheets so this is naturally that the largest freshwater reservoir on earth and it really deserves the label of the sea level giant now of course the ICU has been
around much longer than humanity and it has undergone some massive changes in the past infected Arctic as kind of a
um fantastic cadre of climate change and because of records this you to content in the atmosphere and also the temperature them and you see the data from from ice cores
dating back more than 800 thousand years as you can see the ising has undergone a number of glacial cycles so alternating between cold glacial times and warm interglacial and today we're at a very specific point in time the today we are at the interglacial time
but as you can see anthropogenic climate change them means that we really cross this 400 ppm parts per million online in the past and parts per million well that sounds
not very much but as you all know that this change in this you to content that means that the at a temperature of the atmosphere has risen by roughly 1 degree of globally so we really are at a specific point in
time and if we zoom in into those past 20 thousand years and we can look at the
temperature evolution a bit more closely so this is the evolution since the last glacial maximum about
20 thousand years ago up to today and the to really striking features about this curve so 1st of all you'll notice that in the past thousands of
years which is actually when humanity as has mainly developed it civilizations and and societies and during that time climate was very very stable and the other thing that you will notice is that the difference between the last lecture
maximum about 20 thousand years ago and today this difference roughly 3 to 4 degrees and these 3 to 4 degrees if we now look at some future scenarios we can compare this with the warming levels that we might reach within this century or within the next centuries this is what stands here you see for different potential temperature pathways for the future and put out by the IPCC and you see them that we might face the same magnitude of warming the difference between an Isetan today and in but in a much much shorter time scales and reopen all agree that there is a huge difference between
a glacial time an ice age in today's climate and so we can also assume that there will be a large change between
today's climate and the future climate and uh and dynamic changes in the years the Earth system through this temperature change the the so keeping all of this in mind and its it's quite natural to assume that maybe the internalizes not that paternal after all and you might have seen some of these headlines in the recent past them and all of these show
kind of the same thing namely that the the sleeping giant was actually much more active and much more dynamic than we might have thought and then the here you see
some here let's put out about them myself calving but icebergs forming but not water ponds on the surface of Antarctica about Latia's speeding up about gracious thing and this is what I look at in my research or these changes observed changes and the processes behind them from so I try to understand the physics behind what we see and also to to see what we can expect for the future so I traveled to Antarctica every day but my computer and then when I look at is this
type of coat this is our open-source paralyzed model písm and then I look at these equations which are essentially based on what we all know from high school and that its mass conservation of energy conservation momentum conservation and
based on these equations and the very complex dynamics of Antarctica I I try to understand better what is going on why we see these these changes in Antarctica and what we might
expect for the future so and 1 thing that's really interesting is that even if the ICT is an equilibrium which is what you see here and surface artificial and
equilibrium simulation of Antarctica even in the equilibrium of the ice sheet is constantly moving and that is because there is no falling on top of the ice sheet that ice sheet and that is compressed into ice and then due to it this gigantic weight of the ISIS just
pushed out to which the ocean so you have a constant flow of ice toward the ocean which is then being replaced by snowfall on top of the actually and of course under global warming the conditions of this change a lot and the eyes might speed up
and 1 of the reasons why an article was in the news so much lately is that this observation here from West Antarctica so the server
zoom into the so called Ahmanson base what you see here is in this red color is that the glaciers over the past decades have really sped up in this area and not only have they sped up the also retreated to the Bekaa
Valley here and the reason why this is specifically alarming from lies in action at the bottom of the ice sheet so let's look at it cuts through western article and it looks something like
this so what you see here is 1st of all the ice sheet sitting on that rock and you also
see as specific future that's and very common for Antarctica and that is that toward the ocean them the ice forms so called ice shelves so floating extensions of the ICT that's and
of course do not contribute to see level rise directly much like the ice cube in the water but nonetheless it's a very important role because they act kind of like plots or buffers for the
for the ice flow from the interior to what's the ocean and there the separation line here between the inland ice ICT and the ice cells the floating
extensions that is what we call the grounding line and the position of this grounding line is very important for the ice dynamics and also for sea level rise and in western arctic and also large parts of eastern dark because we have very specific bottom topography and their 2 conditions that are important 1 it is and as you can
see here that large parts of the eyes are itchy grounded below sea level and the 2nd condition is that's the land declined fled in inward and whenever these 2
conditions hold the ice is prone to instability so am since it it does hold a large parts of Antarctica and also in the Allison beam and this is
why these these observations are so important so again here you see the zoomed to the Ahmanson embayment with them the largest and also the fastest measures of Dr. Pepper and I'll inflation weights pleasure and all of
the stages in this region have accelerated and they have now retreated into and the values behind and there's no hills or mountains that could somehow buffer the ice flow from the interior towards the ocean so this region has likely become unstable and this means that on the long term we will see about 1 meter of sea level rise globally from this entire
region we don't know yet how fast this might happen and we also don't really know of is this is directly linked to anthropogenic climate change but with our ISA model we can look at some of the consequences of this this is what was and here you see
and a simulation with apparel ising model where essentially the omics embayment the purple area here was destabilized and it's important to note that there is no other forcing so no warming no change in snowfall no change in melting there's just as 1 Meltwater Pulse which destabilizes that
region much like we see in the observations and the rest that you see is just the internal dynamics of the ice sheet so if the map when puzzles long enough then this happens so you see here how just the the the
civilization of the omics embayments in fact all the marine parts of West Antarctica become unstable and you have this long-term sea-level rise of about 3 meters there's something really important to note here and that is sea level rise takes a very long time and this is important to keep in
mind because that we are very concentrated on the next decades and the next century but really so for sea-level rise and the time after that just as important and the bulk of sea level rise will actually not happen this century but much after the the so we need to think of sea-level rise in terms of commitment and we could ask the question well how far does our influence which how much
how much do we have really affected are the guys that this was actually a question the because of this work and this was this question was already posed and in your times in 1979 so really a long time ago and it is just as relevant or even more relevant today so we looked at this and with our ISA Mullen and am looked at all the possible
future states of Antarctica and with several different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and you will see that the fate of adopted care really depends mostly on how much greenhouse gasses we emits and have emitted and limit in the future and the future state of an article I
can range from anything like that essentially an almost intact ice sheet uh when we have no further greenhouse gas emissions to serve an
intermediate states for a still rather moderate greenhouse gas emissions we lose just like the sound and animation for parts of West Antarctica and also the will expand differences in eastern arctic uh and if we were to use up all the fossil fuels that are available to
us then Antarctica could become almost ice-free on the long term now these are very
term trajectories but it is important to note that this entire range is possible and really depends very much on our greenhouse gas emissions on our actions today it so in terms of if you look at our
coastlines then what does this mean concretely this is still rather moderate emissions scenario that stays with in the 2 degree range that was agreed upon in Paris and what you see here in purple are all the areas that might be submerged or and below sea level
in the future and where today more than 50 million people are living so this means that on the long term really really need to think about the level in terms of commitment and on the long-term even under Margaret emissions scenarios in order to to and save our coastlines and protect them and we we need to really reduce greenhouse gas emissions to them
and actually reduce them down to 0 in order to and keep this cultural heritage and the cities from from from these effects so bearing all of that in mind and coming
back to this very 1st picture you can really see that an hour to get can be unplugged and and that it's
important to think about these long-term changes we really have to keep in mind that sea arises nothing that happens in the next year or in the next decades but our actions in the next years and in the next decades that is what will change and ah together in the face of the planet for centuries or millennia to come so humans really have become a geological force and it's very important
to even though it seems far away to bear and article and all these changes in mind thank you very much I mean this is
that it be the a are there any questions I if you have any questions where microphone you to record the question how technology questions the good and the bad ones yes yes I all continuing it while you mention that uh when you showed us the different pictures how the mission could influence the Antarctic and the future of mn that you said it's only thought how the emissions would changes but is there any other way this could be
reached like if we stop the emissions and from that point that we see that an article wouldn't change but is there any possibility that there's anything other that could arise in the future that could change it to that not to what is different state has a really good question so it's important to keep in mind that there's a lot of inertia in the system and that means that changes and today in the climate might affect an article for a really long time because the ice floes so slowly and also adapts very slowly to these changes so and in principle yes there could be many different changes for instance also if if the were derived from the Greenland from ice loss that would have an effect on the on the adopted even though the
2 ice sheets on opposite sides of the globe so there are lots of them changes in the climate system that can affect Antarctica but overall what's important to keep in mind is that the greenhouse gas emissions and and the interp interpret any climate change coming from these greenhouse gas emissions that's really what decide the future state of Antarctica the um
besides the sea level rise and the undoubted articles since it's um sweet water also affects the oceans I think whether circulation would we get what kind when we get roles or what warm water currents and what like do you have also how many meters sea level rise to this correspond to a how long will that take to feel the affections xt of changing weather just because we have more speed water or and in the oceans so at that yes very good question so this is actually true for both I so for both green and and Antarctica it's true that some if if large parts of the melts then this leads to a freshwater inflow in either the North Atlantic were in the Southern Ocean and that due to this freshwater inflow as you just said the ocean circulation might change and as you know a big part of the ocean circulation
is what is called this the conveyor belt of the ocean circulation and so the thermohaline circulation and this is for instance what brings our moderated warm climate here to us in Europe and that means that whenever we
have large changes in agreement on article this might change as well and it's really important to see how you know these icy they're sitting at the poles and seem kind of far away ever direct effect on our climate here as well the so so it
conclusion concerning the lives and the Antarctic cod to you also look into the microscope going and although slightly over there and what is the effect of cells multi thank you yeah that's certainly a very interesting so and this is not part of my everyday work but of course it's a very important question and hot what kind of life do we find there and am I know that
there's some really interesting publications out on that and for instance on and on and on microbes that um a live underneath that really sick ice sheet and that were found but I'm I'm not an expert on this so this would be a question really for variable they edges when ecologists and somewhere about the article and the hello them what what do you
think about the loss of the subject climate change theory has at the moment in the media like I noticed that the topic was quite big 3 years ago but the the King's constantly and plays slowed context it should acts as a hand and that's also really important questions so communication of of these results I personally think is really important and I'm not sure it is in them it is true that there is less attention to this I certainly hope uh that that is not true because like a centered 1 of the problems with with ice sheets is that they do seem rather far away and we kind of feel like we have you know still a long time to go until we actually see changes from there and I hope I could just convince you that that's actually
not true we are already observing changes in Antarctica and also in green and actually and these changes are just as important for us today and this time the last question but
since you you you of work there also Theodoric hours to like the relationship between the scientists from other countries truth you've met the man hours through working experience with other countries some of there yes certainly a very good working experience
so and I was there and then on a research vessel and and this expedition was led by the SPD 9 to it and there's many different research groups on 1 research vessel they come from from all over the world and and work together also on very different topics and so on the ice sheet but also on the on the ocean and the sea is so all that and is really important and and we have along the way also visited some of the
research stations from from other nations thank you very much thank you very much for the whole world so
if you you
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Metadaten

Formale Metadaten

Titel Antarctica Unplugged
Untertitel Climate change, ice dynamics and sea-level rise
Serientitel re:publica 2017
Autor Winkelmann, Ricarda
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen und das Werk bzw. diesen Inhalt auch in veränderter Form nur unter den Bedingungen dieser Lizenz weitergeben.
DOI 10.5446/33148
Herausgeber re:publica
Erscheinungsjahr 2017
Sprache Englisch

Inhaltliche Metadaten

Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract Climate scientists see complicated code and algorithms on their screens – but through the huge amounts of data they can also see the past and future evolution of our oceans, forests or the polar ice caps. With one of the best computer models of Antarctica you can explore the ice-covered continent, but why should you care? Because burning all of the world’s available fossil-fuel resources would result in the complete melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, whose ice masses store water equivalent to more than 50 meters of sea-level rise.

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