Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Archive for April 5th, 2009

Emerging Patterns of Vanishing Ice Shelves

Posted by feww on April 5, 2009

Catastrophic Sea-level Rises Are Almost a 100% Certainty

Wordie Ice Shelf has entirely vanished and the northern section of the Larsen Ice Shelf measuring about 10,000 sq km has disappeared in the last 20 years.


A view of the leading edge of the remaining part of the Larsen B ice shelf that extends into the northwest part of the Weddell Sea is seen in this handout photo taken on March 4, 2008. Mariano Caravaca (Handout via Reuters).

A report by the U.S. Geological Survey and others blames the climate change for what must surely be a prologue to a full-scale catastrophe in the Antarctica. The report and a detailed map of the region are available at  http://pubs.usgs.gov/imap/2600/B/ . The report says:

Antarctica is Earth’s largest reservoir of glacial ice. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet would cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters …

“This continued and often significant glacier retreat is a wakeup call that change is happening … and we need to be prepared,” a USGS glaciologist, who led the Antarctica study, said.

“Antarctica is of special interest because it holds an estimated 91 percent of the Earth’s glacier volume, and change anywhere in the ice sheet poses significant hazards to society,” she said.

Meanwhile …

The Ice bridge that collapsed

A satellite picture reportedly acquired on Saturday showed that a 40 km strip of ice which held the Wilkins Ice Shelf in place was breaking up.

“It’s amazing how the ice has ruptured. Two days ago it was intact,” said David Vaughan, a glaciologist with the British Antarctic Survey, speaking about a satellite image of the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, which was taken by the European Space Agency, ESA.

Antarctic Peninsula has experienced temperature rises of up to 3 °C in the past 50 years, the fastest warming rate in the region.

“We believe the warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is related to global climate change, though the links are not entirely clear,” Vaughan said.

Related Links:

Posted in Antarctic Peninsula, Climate Change, eco-terrorism, glacial ice, Ice bridge | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Llaima Volcano Erupts Explosively

Posted by feww on April 5, 2009

Chile’s Llaima volcano, one of the largest and most active volcanoes in South America erupts again!

Llaima volcano erupted again spewing lava and ash in southern Chile and prompting evacuations and landslide hazard warnings.


Llaima Volcano erupts. Reuters photo dated April 5, 2009. Image may be subject to copyright.


Llaima Volcano erupts. Reuters photo dated April 5, 2009. Image may be subject to copyright.

The 3,125-meter-high Llaima volcano spewed smoke and ash about 600 meters into the air with lava flowing about 1,000 meters down the volcano.

The eruption melted the snow around the crater, raising the possibility of flooding and mudslide and prompting the officials to evacuate the nearby villages.

The risk of mud avalanches is high, the officials said, which may cause the Calbuco River to rise.

Llaima volcano, whose last significant eruption occurred in July 2008, is located about 600 kilometers south of the Chilean capital, Santiago.


Llaima Volcano erupts. Source: Periodistadigital. Image may be subject to copyright.


Llaima Volcano, Chile. [Dated 6 December 2004 ?] This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Credit: Jespinos

Excerpts from Reuters report:

It said an ash-swollen river near the volcano had swept away a pedestrian bridge, but there was no other damage. Bright red bursts of lava were visible in the night sky as Llaima erupted.

The office said on its website that there were “permanent explosions that reach 600 metres (650 yards) above the crater. Falling ash is visible and … a flow of lava of more than 1,000 metres (1,100 yards) has been observed.”

Chile’s chain of some 2,000 volcanoes is the world’s second-largest after Indonesia. Some 50 to 60 are on record as having erupted, and 500 are potentially active.

Related Links:


Posted in ashfall, Calbuco River, evacuation order, Explosive Eruption, santiago | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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