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UB research examines melting ice cap

Photo courtesy of UB

A UB professor says computer programs are not accurately measuring the melting of the Greenland ice cap.

Beata Csatho has spent two decades researching the world's ice caps, especially Greenland. UB's Geology Department has spent decades studying aspects of the vast ice sheet, including years of drilling ice cores from the cap to study weather and climate changes over the centuries.

The geology associate professor says there have been assumptions sophisticated computer software would predict changes in the cap and the glaciers which come off. Csatho says the goal is to understand the differences between the cap and the computer cap.

"There are quite a few different explanations. But the variability between the behavior of different glaciers is really big, it's bigger than we expected and that was exactly the goal that we had, like quite a few years ago. Trying to generate a very big data set that we can see what the different glaciers are doing," Csatho said

Csatho says the ice cap is so large that massive shrinking isn't always visible, although in some places it's very visible. She says a goal is to understand why in some places there has been vast shrinkage while in others there hasn't.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.