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impara

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Hi everybody
could anyone help me to understand this sentence: it deals with the global warming and with the melting of glaciers: it says:
"they (the glaciers) are prone to feedbacks, when melting begets more melting and the ice shrinks fastly"
could you explaining the meaning in particular of the words "prone to feedbacks"? I didn't found any meaning that it's ok for the sentence for "feedbacks".
thanks so much
bye
 

David L.

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National Geograhic:
Scientists are finding that glaciers and ice sheets are surprisingly touchy. Instead of melting steadily, like an ice cube on a summer day, they are prone to feedbacks, when melting begets more melting and the ice shrinks precipitously.

National Academy Press:
UNDERSTANDING ~ 1 11V12~1= CHANGE FEEDBACKS Panel on Climate Change Feedbacks Climate Research Committees Boa rcl on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAl RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAl ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press Home Page

PREFACE The National Research Council (NRC), the operating arm of the National Academies, has over the years produced an extensive body of work focused on issues relevant to observing and understanding changes in climate…Although these statements are addressed toward the entirety of the climate research enterprise, the report also specifically discussed the importance of reducing the uncertainties associated with climate change feedbacks such as water vapor, clouds, and snow cover. This report is an attempt to look in detail at that challenge and identify ways to improve our understanding of climate change feedback processes.

Apparently, this is a plural form of 'feedback' coined in climate research.
 
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beascarpetta

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they (the glaciers) are prone to feedbacks

You would have to consider the subsequent chunk of text as well

("At Chacaltaya, for instance, the shrinking glacier exposed dark rocks, which sped up its demise by soaking up heat from the sun. Other feedbacks are shriveling bigger mountain glaciers ahead of schedule and sending polar ice sheets slipping into the ocean....)

the speed at which they are shrinking/melting is dependent on/ influenced by / furthered by the rate/speed at which the adjacent bits of glacier melt

hope this helps.
 

BobK

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...

Apparently, this is a plural form of 'feedback' coined in climate research.

The 'magic word' is 'uncountable'. 'Feedback' is usually uncountable. In this one context - where I think climatologists use it to mean 'a feedback event' [that is to say, an event that accentuates the very conditions that cause it, so that its effects feed back into the system and make the change even more acute] - it seems to have become countable (much to my surprise). ;-)

b
 

impara

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So in this context feedbacks could mean something that make bigger the melting effect or
the situation where the nearest glaciers melted could influence the next shriveling of glacier
Is it in this way?
 

BobK

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:up: You've got it. ;-)

b
 
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