Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica, close to collapse

Fri, 2008-07-11 06:42Todd Carmichael
Todd Carmichael's picture

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica, close to collapse

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is experiencing further disintegration that is threatening the collapse of the ice bridge connecting the shelf to Charcot Island.

Prof. David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said: “Wilkins Ice Shelf is the most recent in a long, and growing, list of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula that are responding to the rapid warming that has occurred in this area over the last fifty years.

Previous Comments

This is amusing indeed.
This shelf, which is less than .1 percent of the total area of ICE in Antarctica, is cracking in the dead of winter in temperatures in the negative 100 range and you want people to believe it is caused by Glo-BULL warming?
BTW: Antarctica ice area is approaching another all time record high.

the first breakup of the Wilkins shelf started well before March of this year.

But hey, why let reality get in the way of expressing a perfectly ignorant opinion.

that this particular, unique little neck of ice is all that’s holding back a direct interface between glaciers and the open sea. If the sea ice breaks loose and no longer forms a brake, the glaciers can begin to accelerate the way they are doing in Greenland. It may represent a miniscule part of the ice cover, but this isn’t about sheer area. The bridge performs a function far beyond what .1% would suggest. And if it can do this in the winter, imagine what might happen when summer rolls around.

Everything is held in place by a delicate balance. Upset the balance, even a little, and the whole thing could come crashing down. That’s what feedback is all about. They are thinking now that they have been underestimating the impact that ocean temperature has on sea ice, focussing mainly on air temperature (surface melt). The sea will continue to warm as more and more dark open water is exposed to absorb sunlight in the summer. That warmer water finds its way under the pack ice and eats away at it from below while warmer air does its work from above – double whammy.

You can only beat your head against the wall for so long, Gary, until you notice the writing on it. Pay attention.

As for the surface area of ice, a skin of ice is no indication of anything.

Fern Mackenzie

Todd, you are relatively new at DeSmog. Can you tell us a bit more why you do your treks? Is it only to promote action on AGW or are you alos an adventure lover?

I believe you said you are going to take a solo trek to the Antarctic. How long will it take? How do you sleep overnight at a place like that, etc.? What do you do if say a medical emergency arises or other difficulties? Thanks,

[x]

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