climate change antarctic

Sun, 2009-04-05 22:14Mitchell Anderson
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Wilkins Ice Sheet Lost to Climate Change

The latest massive piece of evidence of climate change appeared this weekend - about the size of Jamaica.

The Wilkins ice shelf off the coast of Antarctica finally disintegrated after decades of melting due to global warming. Last year it shrank by 700 square miles of area or about 14% of its size. This huge shelf was held in place by a thread of remaining ice only 500 metres wide.

The Wilkins is by far the largest ice shelf to break away so far and scientists naturally worry that this is a sign of things to come. The southern continent has warmed by 3 degrees Celsius in the last 50 years and the pace is picking up steam

The collapse comes the same weekend as a new study from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) showing one third of all Antarctic sea ice will disappear by the end of the century.

The report found that ice coverage on the Antarctic Peninsula alone has decreased by 27,000 square kilometres in the past 50 years.

Early numbers put out by SCAR suggest the collapse of Antarctic sea-ice not only pushes up anticipated sea level rises but will threaten the numbers of native animal species including emperor penguins, humpback whales and several fish species.

Their research also shows sea temperatures in the Southern Ocean are rising faster than in other oceans, and that ice melts in the Antarctic Peninsula and Western Ice Shelf will be greater and more rapid than expected.

Fri, 2008-11-07 10:13Todd Carmichael
Todd Carmichael's picture

A Landslide Victory for Obama In Antarctica

Dear Mr. President-Elect,

Greetings from Antarctica!

I'm about to begin my mission to become the first American in history to reach the South Pole, solo and unaided. I'll start walking November 8th from the edge of the ice pack and, if all goes according to plan, arrive at the Pole just after Christmas. If you have a minute around then, I'd love to hear from you, just ring my satellite phone.

It's the least you could do, I mean, I delivered the vote for you here in the Deep South (so to speak).

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