Log in | Jump |


News & Perspective from the Center for Environmental Journalism
This item was posted on February 22, 2010, and it was categorized as Uncategorized.
You can follow comments through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and trackbacks are closed.

The climate bats last — once again

PLInfoImage copy

This USGS map shows how ice fronts have retreated in the southern Antarctic Peninsula from 1947 to 2009.

Once again, the Earth’s climate seems to be ignoring the claims of climate skeptics that globe isn’t warming. A report published today by the U.S. Geological Survey details the widespread extent of shrinking ice shelves in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula due to climate change.

“This could result in glacier retreat and sea-level rise if warming continues, threatening coastal communities and low-lying islands worldwide,” according to the USGS.

There are five major ice shelves in this region, and the ice lost since 1998 from just one — the Wilkins Ice Shelf — totals more than 4,000 square kilometers, according to the USGS. That’s an area larger than Rhode Island.

An ice shelf floats, so as it disappears it does not cause a rise in sea level. But it serves something like a cork in a bottle, holding back glaciers and ice streams flowing down from Antarctic ice sheets. When an ice shelf disappears, the flow of this ice into the sea can accelerate — and that contributes to sea level rise.

This item was posted by .

You can follow comments through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and trackbacks are closed.

This thing has 3 Comments

  1. John Zulauf
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    but this isn’t melt this is wave action…

    Scripps confirming earlier comments by Watts.



    just like the 2007 Arctic anomaly was storm driven, the Antarctic shelf erosion is mechanical fracturing from very low frequency waves.

    Batting last, “grounder to the left, fielded on one hop by Scripps the shortstop, and out at first 6 – 3 to end the inning” :)

  2. John Zulauf
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    an interesting take on the reporting of Antarctic Sea Ice (or extent) from AR4/WG1


    Yum, cherries!

  3. googler
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    From page 10 of the pamphlet accompanying the map posted above:

    “Change on the Antarctic ice shelves and ice fronts may be due to incursions of warm water, changes in atmospheric temperature, differences in the accumulation rate, or combinations of these factors, and must be interpreted with caution.”


Comments are currently closed