Environmental Monitor

From February 2015 to November 2015 I was a freelance science writing intern for Fondriest Environmental's magazine Environmental Monitor, which covers technological advancements in monitoring systems for air and water quality in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams. Here you will find my entire collection of short briefs and longer form features written for the magazine. 

Melting Of Laurentide Ice Sheet Offers Insights To Climate Change Future

By Cassie Kelly, July 15, 2015

Scientists at Oregon State University have used historical records from the Laurentide Ice Sheet to determine how ice might respond to a warming climate in the future. The scientists looked back 9,000 years ago to a time when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was rising.

They used the surface mass balance of the ice sheet to determine that when the balance was generally positive, meaning the accumulation of snow was higher than the level of melting, the ice sheet began to disappear. However, a major shift happened when CO2 spiked. The ice sheet not only began melting, but was separating itself from the coast of Canada. From there, the ice dissolved entirely.

The biggest discovery of the study was that big shifts happen from small changes. The study also shows how sensitive glaciers can be to atmospheric changes. And scientists believe that there may be a ‘climatic threshold’ that must be reached before events like the melting of the Laurentide Ice Sheet happen.

Read the original post at Environmental Monitor.