The observed acceleration of glaciers from West Antarctica into the Amundsen Sea is estimated to be contributing 6% to current sea-level rise with the estimated potential to add 0.24 m to global sea level. Stronger westerly winds over the Amundsen Sea can increase the flow of relatively warm ocean water to the base of ice shelves that flow from glaciers into the Amundsen Sea. Thinning of the glaciers caused by this warming is a potentially important factor in driving the observed acceleration of glaciers. However, the climatology of winds in the region has not been extensively studied due to a lack of in situ observational long-term records. Here six different reanalysis datasets are assessed (CFSR, ERA-40, ERA-Interim, JRA-25, MERRA and NNR1) to determine a best estimate of variability and change since 1979 when the widespread monitoring of the atmosphere from satellites was introduced. A comparison with independent mean sea-level pressure data from ice drifting buoys shows that ERA-Interim is clearly the most accurate at capturing the details of individual weather systems over the neighbouring Bellingshausen Sea, implying that it is also accurate over the Amundsen Sea. In terms of climatological means, the five recently-produced (after ∼2000) reanalysis datasets show only small differences. Decadal variations of westerly winds congruent with the observed increases in the southern annular mode (SAM) index are a consistent feature across the reanalysis datasets. In particular, the strong seasonal dependence of observed trends in the SAM (i.e. significant positive trends in the summer and autumn in recent decades) is also seen in the strength of westerly winds over the Amundsen Sea. In terms of year-to-year variability, the annual mean westerly winds over the Amundsen Sea were found to be significantly correlated with the SAM in summer (r = 0.35; p≤0.05) and El Nino-Southern Oscillation in spring (September to November) (r = 0.41; p≤0.05).
Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today Royal Navy to Protect UK Marine Conservation Areas The Royal Navy has adopted a new approach to minimising its impact on the environment that could become a blueprint for other Naval services.It has produced Environmental Protection Guidelines (Maritime) (EPG(M)), an interactive military layer of electronic charting which provides advice on the suitability of military activities in the vicinity of designated marine protected areas across the UK’s marine area.By following these guidelines, ship planners and operators can be confident that their actions and exercises minimise the risks to the environment and are not contravening legal restrictions.The EPG(M) has been developed over three years in consultation with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) on behalf of the UK statutory nature conservation bodies (SNCBs1). The process used to develop the EPG(M) has been endorsed by the SNCBs.The EPG(M) provides details for consideration across all activities undertaken by the Royal Navy near marine protected areas, and covers activities taking place in the air, on land, at sea or underwater. The Navy has signed a Statement of Intent committing itself to the new guidelines.Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Capability) Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, said:“The marine environment faces an array of increasing pressures and expanding legal protection aims to safeguard certain species and areas.“The Royal Navy is not exempt from this legislation and our planners, ships, staff and aircrew face a growing range of environmental considerations, not only during training but also when on operations.“EPG(M) works within our electronic charting system to offer clear and interactive guidance to our people when planning so that they can continue to deliver the UK’s maritime defence priorities safely.“I believe that this is a real advance and further tangible evidence of the effort being expended by the RN to protect the environment and minimise our ecological impact.”It is thought that the EPG(M) is the first of its kind among Naval forces. Currently the EPG(M) offers guidance for the UK marine area only, but work is underway to expand the tool to cover the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and EU waters.JNCC has praised the actions of the Royal Navy in this initiative to improve the protection it provides for the marine environment.Dr John Goold, JNCC Marine Director, said:“The Royal Navy has taken a proactive and innovative approach to minimising the potential environmental impact of its marine activities.“The UK statutory nature bodies strongly welcome and support this positive approach and the Navy’s continued consideration of the marine environment.“I believe the Royal Navy can be confident that it is moving in the right direction and we are pleased to co-sign this Statement of Intent on behalf of the UK statutory nature conservation bodies.”The Statement of Intent lays out how the tools will be used, maintained and reviewed so the Royal Navy and the SNCBs can continue to work together to maintain the effectiveness of the EPG(M) in future.[mappress]Press Release, December 12, 2013; Image: Royal Navy December 12, 2013 Training & Education Royal Navy to Protect UK Marine Conservation Areas
RelatedPosts Fulham keen on Lookman loan deal Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ English Premier League record appearance holder Gareth Barry has ended his playing career at the age of 39, British media reported on Thursday.Midfielder Barry made 653 appearances in lengthy spells with Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton, scoring 53 goals. He also made 53 appearances for England.After almost a decade at Aston Villa he joined Manchester City in 2009 and was part of the side that won the Premier League title in 2012.Barry played a handful of games for West Bromwich Albion in last season’s Championship promotion-winning campaign.Reuters/NAN.Tags: Aston VillaEvertonGareth BarryManchester CityPremier LeagueRetiresWest Bromwich Albion