Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Ladywriter

Ice bridge collapses, leaving Wilkins Ice Shelf vulnerable

5 posts in this topic

Jeremy Hance

mongabay.com

April 05, 2009

As though commenting on world leader's lack of progress in combating climate change at the G20 conference last week, an ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf to the Antarctic continent broke off over the weekend. Long expected by scientists, the break is perhaps the beginning of the Wilkins Ice Shelf completely coming loose from Antarctica.

Splitting at its thinnest point of 500 meters the 25-mile-long ice bridge connected the Wilkins Ice Shelf to Charcot and Latardy islands. The Wilkins Ice Shelf has become famous for being the largest of ten Antarctic ice shelves to have collapsed or shrunk recently, most likely due to rising temperatures in the Antarctic. In the past 50 years, Antarctic temperature have risen approximately 3 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit), which is about three times the global surface temperature increase.

Scientists worry that the loss of the ice bridge may allow water currents to melt the Wilkins Ice Shelf far faster, eventually leaving the ice shelf a disintegrating island.

[/url]

Related articles

Antarctica shows net warming over past 50 years

(01/22/2009) Despite a cooling trend in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, Antarctica has experienced net warming over the past 50 years, report researchers writing in the January 22 edition of Nature. Analyzing data from satellites and weather stations authors led by Eric Steig of the University of Washington (UW) found that "warming in West Antarctica exceeded one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade for the last 50 years and more than offset the cooling in East Antarctica", according to a statement from UW.

(04/24/2008) A full recovery of the stratospheric ozone hole could strongly modify climate change in the Southern Hemisphere and possibly amplify warming of the Antarctic continent, a new study finds.

(03/25/2008) Satellites have captured the collapse of a massive ice shelf in Antarctica. At 160 square miles the area of collapsed ice was seven times the size of Manhattan. Scientists say the collapse is the beginning of a "runaway" disintegration of the 13,680 square kilometer (5,282 square mile) Wilkins Ice Shelf on the southwest Antarctic Peninsula. The region has experienced the largest temperature increase on the planet, rising by 0.5 degree Celsius (0.9 degree Fahrenheit) per decade over the past 50 years.

(07/19/2007) Melting glaciers and ice caps will contribute more to global sea level rise this century than the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, reports a study published in the current issue of Science.

(06/05/2007) Antarctic glaciers are moving faster due to global warming, reports the British Antarctic Survey.

(05/16/2007) NASA has found clear evidence of a California-sized area of snow melting in west Antarctica in January 2005 in response to warm temperatures.


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The ice shelf will not cause a rise in sea level because it is already in the water. I find it disturbing that they will only go as far as to say that. If these shelves that are in the water were to melt, it would lower the sea levels, which could screw shit up just as well. Its like filling up a glass with ice and pouring water in it. Once they all melt, the water level a little over half of what it use to be because water expands when frozen.

The implications on coast line industries would be catastrophic. Big ports would no longer exist, fishing in poor countries would be severely affected, and beach city tourism would be nonexistent.


dvabanner.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i know this is a stupid question, but why cant we use liquid nitrogen to freeze a shit load of water into ice bergs again?


sigpic1620_11.gif

Bruce Campbell: '' This place has more security then the Batcave ''

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cost and scale of a project to liquefy that much Nitrogen and then safely spray it into the ocean would be astronomical and would bankrupt the world probably. Plus the after effects of overdosing the ocean with nitrogen could be disastrous.


dvabanner.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the ice bridge collapse doesn't mess w sea level but a land glacier melting into the ocean will

also a refreeze is unlikely to work as the temp in that area is now too warm


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0