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Passion University
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Learn and Live Passion
Learn and Live Passion

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Existing computer models may be severely underestimating the risk to Greenland's ice sheet — which would add 20 feet to sea levels if it all melted — from warming temperatures, according to two studies released Monday.

Satellite data were instrumental for both studies — one which concludes that Greenland is likely to see many more lakes that speed up melt, and the other which better tracks large glaciers all around Earth's largest island.

The lakes study, published in the peer-reviewed Nature Climate Change, found that what are called "supraglacial lakes" have been migrating inland since the 1970s as temperatures warm, and could double on Greenland by 2060.

Those lakes can speed up ice loss since, being darker than the white ice, they can absorb more of the sun's heat and cause melting. The melt itself creates channels through the ice sheet to weaken it further, sending ice off the sheet and into the ocean.

When the ice sheet is thinner," study lead author Amber Leeson, a researcher at Britain's University of Leeds, explained, "it is at a slightly lower elevation and at the mercy of warmer air temperatures than it would have been if it were thicker, increasing the size of the melt zone around the edge of the ice sheet."

The glaciers study, published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used NASA satellite data to reconstruct how the height of the ice sheet has changed at nearly 100,000 locations from 1993 to 2012. The team found significant variations that aren't factored in by existing computer models for future changes on Greenland because they focus on just four glaciers.

"The problem is that these models have been applied to four glaciers only, one of which has not been changing much, to predict how these glaciers may change in the future," said Kees van der Veen, a study co-author and University of Kansas geographer.

"Results for these four glaciers have been extrapolated to the entire ice sheet to estimate the contribution of the entire ice sheet to sea level rise," he adds. "Our results show that this is not appropriate because of how differently individual glaciers have changed over the last decade."
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Bill Nye, The Science Guy: "Adults who have very strong conservative views get on school boards that are reluctant to let kids learn about evolution." He said that these kids will not be able to "think critically, use skeptical thought to learn about nature," and found this extremely troubling because it's happening "in the world's most technologically advanced society."
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Real performance assessment happens when we measure not just knowledge, but also skills and competencies that are inextricably related to success in college and career. This kind of assessment is concerned not just with content, but with real-world applications. Here's how you know when you have true, meaningful performance assessment happening in your classroom: when preparing for the test, taking the test, and then applying the skill in real life all look the same.
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What if we made education about how to be Healthy and Happy? This 13-year old boy says that to be happy and healthy, schools should teach more about Exercise, Diet and Nutrition, Time in Nature, Contribution and Service, Relationships, Relaxation and Stress Management, Religious and Spiritual Involvement. He also says that students should learn what they want, and get opportunities to learn through direct experience in different settings.
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I'm working on improving the mainstream education system through development of the student's own mind-body-spirit and enabling them to pursue learning and profession that are aligned with their authentic passion.
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