Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
Breitbart.com – July 10, 2008
This is quite concerning. Most of the instability in the ice shelves in Antarctica have been during the summer. Now it appears that this shelf is in danger even though the continent is currently undergoing winter. There have been a rash of shelves collapsing and Nobel Prize winner, Al Gore, spoke of this in his film “An Inconvenient Truth”. It is not conclusive why ice shelves collapse but it is important for us to explore these situations.
It appears that this shelf is being “eroded” underneath by warm waters. This is likely the cause of the rapid failure of the other shelves as well. Interestingly, some of the other shelves exhibited water pooling on the surface before their collapse but there is no mention of this situation in this article.
Images taken by its Envisat remote-sensing satellite show that Wilkins Ice Shelf is “hanging by its last thread” to Charcot Island, one of the plate’s key anchors to the Antarctic peninsula
Wilkins Ice Shelf had been stable for most of the last century, covering around 16,000 square kilometres (6,000 square miles), or about the size of Northern Ireland, before it began to retreat in the 1990s.
The Antarctic peninsula — the tongue of land that juts northward from the white continent towards South America — has had one of the highest rates of warming anywhere in the world in recent decades.
But this latest stage of the breakup occurred during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, when atmospheric temperatures are at their lowest.
In the past three decades, six Antarctic ice shelves have collapsed completely — Prince Gustav Channel, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, Larsen B, Wordie, Muller and the Jones Ice Shelf.
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