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.
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.
- Thought You Were “Safe?” [Think again! Antarctic thaw is Accelerating.]
- Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Highlights a Fast-Warming World
- Antarctica: The [Formerly] Frozen Continent
- If You Thought Antarctica, Too, Must Be Warming
- Ice Melt in Alaska, Antarctica, Greenland Accelerating
- WILKINS ICE SHELF IS “HANGING BY A THREAD
- Possible Thule Eruption Disastrous for Antarctic Ice
- Alp-sized mountain range encased in Antarctic ice