Glacier Dynamics

Glacier DynamicsCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here’s a program from our archives.We’re listening to the sound that a glacier makes as chunks of it break off into the sea, forming icebergs. But in the dynamics of the Polar regions, what purpose do icebergs serve? I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ambience, Aialik Glacier(Jacobs) “I guess the primary role of icebergs is in maintaining some kind of approximate equilibrium of the size of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet. The ice sheets respond to increased precipitation, eventually, by increasing the rate of outflow, and the icebergs break off, and carry this freshwater away from the continents where it melts in the near surface in the oceans.”Stanley Jacobs is a senior staff associate at the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory.(Jacobs) “One of the major unknowns about icebergs at present is the production rate.””Over the past several years there has been an attempt to census or monitor the total number of Antarctic icebergs, and to use the count, and estimates of the sizes and volumes of the icebergs, to estimate the total outflow of ice from the Antarctic continent.””The significance of this information is that if the outflow of ice from the Antarctic ice sheet presently exceeds the precipitation of snow or water equivalent on the ice sheet, then it will result in a net increase in the volume of the oceans.”Indications are, that for the past hundred years globally, the sea level has been slowly but surely, rising. This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Glacier Dynamics

Icebergs are forming and seas are rising. This archival program is part of Pulse of the Planet's 30th anniversary celebration. Stanley S. Jacobs is currently a Special Research Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth
Air Date:06/08/2018
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Glacier DynamicsCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.We're listening to the sound that a glacier makes as chunks of it break off into the sea, forming icebergs. But in the dynamics of the Polar regions, what purpose do icebergs serve? I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ambience, Aialik Glacier(Jacobs) "I guess the primary role of icebergs is in maintaining some kind of approximate equilibrium of the size of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet. The ice sheets respond to increased precipitation, eventually, by increasing the rate of outflow, and the icebergs break off, and carry this freshwater away from the continents where it melts in the near surface in the oceans."Stanley Jacobs is a senior staff associate at the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory.(Jacobs) "One of the major unknowns about icebergs at present is the production rate.""Over the past several years there has been an attempt to census or monitor the total number of Antarctic icebergs, and to use the count, and estimates of the sizes and volumes of the icebergs, to estimate the total outflow of ice from the Antarctic continent.""The significance of this information is that if the outflow of ice from the Antarctic ice sheet presently exceeds the precipitation of snow or water equivalent on the ice sheet, then it will result in a net increase in the volume of the oceans."Indications are, that for the past hundred years globally, the sea level has been slowly but surely, rising. This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.