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WARMING


The UK has experienced heavy floods over the past decade, which have affected thousands of people and caused millions of pounds worth of damage. The rainfall in June and July 2007 was about 20% higher than ever seen before in records that go back to 1879. Although it is impossible to say this flooding was a result of climate change, some computer predictions say that we can expect to see more extreme weather events such as flooding in the future. The Met Office however project that while heavy summer rains may become more frequent, summers are likely to be drier overall, especially in the south of Britain. According to the Environment Agency, at present 2.3 million homes and 185,000 businesses are at risk of flooding in England and Wales representing property, land and assets to the value of over ÂŁ200bn. Adapting our homes to cope with flooding (particularly new homes) seems vital. Building them on higher ground, away from flood plains, with materials which can withstand heavy rainfall seems to be a good idea. However, the Environment Agencies throughout the UK are also looking into the problem of flood defences as there are many areas where these would be beneficial, although the financial implications of such schemes has to be considered. For many people around the World, particularly in developing countries, the dangers associated with flooding are serious. Houses in many countries can be destroyed instantly as a result of heavy rain and flooding.


Th clim world warmth ter flows marine org

For 20 years Greenland and gravity measurem ual one-off measur of the Antarctic ice. Agency ESA combines

The Antartic is difficult ter “It’s the first time all the peo Antarctic and Greenland ice s got together to produce a single of Leeds in the UK explained in a

Satellite monitoring ends confusion “Thanks to the accuracy of our data s dence that Antarctica has lost ice for the tion to the relative proportions of ice that southern hemispheres, we can also see there ice loss in last 20 years. So together Antarctic tributing three times as much ice to sea levels a the Professor of Earth Observation.

According to the study, melting ice from both poles a fifth of the global rise in sea levels since 1992, 11 mill was caused by the thermal expansion of the warming o mountain glaciers, small Arctic ice caps and groundwater of the polar ice melt, however, is rising. The pattern of ch siderably between the Arctic and the Antarctic. Two thirds o happening in Greenland. “The rate of ice loss from Greenland almost five-fold since the mid-1990s”, says Erik Ivins, who coor project for NASA.

In the Antarctic, the situation is a more complex one. Scientists distin between the West and East, which are being affected differently by clim change. West Antarctica is losing ice at an accelerating rate.


The polar regions are important drivers of the world’s mate. When the “everlasting ice” melts at an increasing rate, the rest of the d is affected. Global sea levels are rising, dark meltwater pools absorb h from the sun which white ice would reflect back into space. Fresh was into the sea, changing ocean currents and the living conditions for ganisms.

satellites have been monitoring earth’s biggest ice shields on d in the Antarctic, using different technologies from radar to ments. In the past, the uncoordinated publication of individrements led to confusion, especially with regard to the state A new study, supported by NASA and European Space s the data from different satellite missions.

rrain for scientists to access ople who have estimated changes in the size of the sheets using satellites over the past 20 years have e result,” Andrew Shepherd from the University an interview with DW.

set, we are now able to say with confie whole of the past 20 years. In addihave been lost in the northern and e’s been a definitive acceleration of ca and Greenland are now conas they were 20 years ago,” says

has been responsible for limeters in all. The rest ocean, the melting of r mining. The share hange differs conof the ice loss is has increased rdinated the

nguish mate


The polar regions are important drivers of the world’s climate. When the “everlasting ice” melts at an increasing rate, the rest of the world is affected. Global sea levels are rising, dark meltwater pools absorb warmth from the sun which white ice would reflect back into space. Fresh water flows into the sea, changing ocean currents and the living conditions for marine organisms. For 20 years satellites have been monitoring earth’s biggest ice shields on Greenland and in the Antarctic, using different technologies from radar to gravity measurements. In the past, the uncoordinated publication of individual one-off measurements led to confusion, especially with regard to the state of the Antarctic ice. A new study, supported by NASA and European Space Agency ESA combines the data from different satellite missions. The Antartic is difficult terrain for scientists to access “It’s the first time all the people who have estimated changes in the size of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets using satellites over the past 20 years have got together to produce a single result,” Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds in the UK explained in an interview with DW. Satellite monitoring ends confusion “Thanks to the accuracy of our data set, we are now able to say with confidence that Antarctica has lost ice for the whole of the past 20 years. In addition to the relative proportions of ice that have been lost in the northern and southern hemispheres, we can also see there’s been a definitive acceleration of ice loss in last 20 years. So together Antarctica and Greenland are now contributing three times as much ice to sea levels as they were 20 years ago,” says the Professor of Earth Observation.



Global Warming