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Monday, December 24, 2012


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I have been trying to keep abreast of Ice sheet dynamics research in Antarctica. Here are several useful posts from my blog:

1. Global Warming in Antarctica: Thwaites and Pine Island Glaciers accelerating, West Antarctic Ice Sheet losing mass - At the end of this article there is a 23 min video of David pollard which features a reconstruction animation of the collapse of West Antarctic ice sheet in the Cenozoic.

2. Waking the giant: Global Warming in the Weddell Sea, West Antarctic Ice Sheet and sea level rise - Even from the Weddell Sea side, the ice sheet may be susceptible to ocean warming of the ice shelves

3. Southern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet and global sea level rise

4. Study: Winds driving Record Antarctic Sea ice growth, global sea ice extent still declining - to show that polar climates are complex with some unexpected responses that take a while for scientists to understand

5. Global Warming on West Antarctic Ice Sheet three times the global average -this covers similar ground to your above article but with some related info on tropical pacific warming influencing the warming of air currents over West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)


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Convert carbon dioxide (CO2) weight to carbon (C) weight


CO2/3.67 = C 


ex: 40 GtCO2 ≈ 10.9 GtC


1 Gt (Gigatonne) = 1 billion tonnes

1 tonne = 1,000 kg


Also: 1 Pg = 1 Gt


1 Pg (Petagram) = 1 quadrillion grams


Soil specialists tend to use Pg, as they are used to working with gram units per square meter of soil area. Atmospheric specialists tend to use Gt. 

Convert carbon emissions to ppm atmospheric CO2


GtC/2.12 = ppm

To convert emissions of carbon to atmospheric ppm CO2, carbon sinks must be taken into account. 

So far, terrestrial and oceanic sinks have taken up about 50% of CO2.



ex: 40 GtCO2 emissions ≈ 10.9 GtC

10.9 GtC/2.12 ≈ 5.14 ppm CO2 before accounting for sinks

5.14 ppm CO2 x 0.5 ≈ 2.57 ppm CO2 after accounting for sinks


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