While North America remains just on the edge of spring, just
feeling the last vestiges of winter, in the southern hemisphere the summer is
just about to end. This time of year in Antarctica is the time at which
the effects of the summer’s warmth are most seen in terms of melting.
This week the British Antarctic Survey gave a shocking
report that 220 square miles of ice collapsed and that the Wilkins Ice
Shelf, an ice shelf the size of Connecticut, was "hanging by a
thread". The British Antarctic Survey blames global
warming for these turn of events and says that its witnessed an undeniable
increase in melting and temperatures despite what critics
Professor Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center
at the University of Colorado at Boulder, believes that such events are only
beginning. He states, "We are in for a lot more events like
Scambos first detected the breakup, which started in February, on NASA
satellite images and called up the British Antarctic Society to
investigate. Scambos says that February, the last month of summer, is
when the most heating stress on ice shelves occurs. Scambos emphasizes
the impressive nature of the event, stating, "The amazing thing was, we
saw it within hours of it beginning, in between the morning and the afternoon
pictures of that day."
The British Antarctic Survey also points out that a decade ago; the Wilkins Ice
Shelf already lost about six percent of its ice surface. More may soon be
breaking off, according to the Survey. The group says, "As of
mid-March, only a narrow strip of shelf ice was protecting several thousand
kilometers of potential further breakup."
The total ice shelf's area is currently at about 5,282 square miles, placing
the February loss at about four percent. The British Antarctic Survey used
aircraft to assess the ice shelf and melting from an aerial view. Jim
Elliott, a researcher with the Survey states, "We flew along the main
crack and observed the sheer scale of movement from the breakage. Big
hefty chunks of ice, the size of small houses, look as though they've been
thrown around like rubble -- it's like an explosion."
The breakup is a landmark event according to the Survey, and the largest to
date. David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey noted on the group's
site, "Wilkins is the largest ice shelf on the Antarctic
Peninsula yet to be threatened. I didn't expect to see things happen this
quickly. The ice shelf is hanging by a thread -- we'll know in the next few
days or weeks what its fate will be."
Fortunately, ice shelves are already floating, so the break-up will not affect
world sea levels. For the most part, Scambos says this breakup will have
minimal effects on tourist ship routes and wildlife. He states on the latter,
"Wildlife will be impacted, but they are pretty adept at dealing with a
topsy-turvy world. The ecosystem is pretty resilient."
Among the Antarctic ice shelves which already collapsed are Prince Gustav
Channel, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, Larsen B, Wordie, Muller and Jones.
Larsen B, which collapsed in 2002, was particularly large, being almost the
size of Rhode island, and was among the events referenced in Al Gore's movie an
Inconvenient Truth, which won
him the Nobel Peace Prize.
The western Antarctic Peninsula, the piece of the continent stretching out
towards South America, has received more warming than anywhere else on Earth,
according to scientists. Its temperature has risen approximately 0.9
degrees F per decade for the last 50 years. Scambos warns that polar warming
may have serious consequences, stating, "Even though they seem far away,
changes in the polar regions could have an impact on both hemispheres, with sea
level rise and changes in climate patterns."
The news of the breakup follows hot on the heels of a new United Nations
Environment Program (UNEP) report, which states that the world's glaciers are
melting at a record rate. According to UNEP, "Data from close to 30
reference glaciers in nine mountain ranges indicate that between the years
2004-2005 and 2005-2006 the average rate of melting and thinning more than
UNEP states that the worst melting occurred in Europe, devastating the ski
industry. Norway's Breidalblikkbrea glacier was the hardest hit, losing
10 feet of snow and ice in 2006, after only losing a foot the year prior.
has also been experiencing severe melts according to recent NASA
research. Researchers stated in 2005 that Greenland's glaciers are
dumping 200 gigatons of water into the ocean per year. UNEP's report
indicates this may have worsened with record melts in 2006.
A research camp on the ice sheet reports that temperatures rose
2.7 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 30 years -- more than double the world
average. The researchers are studying how the melting will affect the
local population and the effects that it might have on the world in general.
quote: probably no water to drink in Southern California in just afew years
quote: Since U.S. consumes 1/5 of oil on earth daily and 40% of wood of the whole world yearly
quote: Evidence is everywhere. You just don't want to admit it.
quote: "who needs oil? i ride the bus!"
quote: What's funny is that the water that SoCAL is claiming to be on the verge of running out (for the last 30 years) and my water aren't from the same source. Like I said, PRIVATE well meaning not shared and not public. Considering that I just raised my pump 75 feet, I'm in no danger whatsoever of running out of water. Thank you, come again.
quote: How about Katrina, the flood of Mississippi reiver happening now, probably no water to drink in Southern California in just afew years, and Alps ski area is getting smaller and smaller, ice in north pole and south pole is disappearing.
quote: It's really pathetic so many people keeps denying global warming and denying the human's causes.
quote: Since U.S. consumes 1/5 of oil on earth daily and 40% of wood of the whole world yearly, a big portion of Americans just keeps denying it, no matter majority of the scientists have showned the studies, the statistics, the pictures.
quote: Even with pictures in front of them, they probaly can still claim that it's aliens who cause this.
quote: California water? What is to be expected at the edge of or in a desert?
quote: Humans have little to no impact on the environment. Almost every study has proven this. It is those that "cherry pick" data to support their warming cause
quote: Yes they have proven with their studies, statistics and pictures that this is a normal trend with our planet and man has had maybe 0.00000000000000001% of an impact on the weather or anything else.
quote: You're right, evidence is everywhere, just not in yours or Al Gore's favor.
quote: I really can understand your abject terror at the mention of change.
quote: And I can understand your abject terror of dying via suicide bomber.
quote: People will only change if they feel a need to.
quote: It can't be coerced, bullied, or forced. It only happens naturally.
quote: And I mean really, coming on the internet trying to change others points of view? It's futile at best.
quote: After all "conservative" by definition means "opposed to change",
quote: So around 2200 we can expect to see Greenland as a lush farming and ranching island once again at which point it starts cooling again and by 2500 it will be covered by ice as will many of the surrounding oceans.
quote: We're not suppose to have snow and freezing temperatures one day then 60' and sunny the next, then freezing and snowing the next, etc.
quote: What would it hurt to be greener (if every country does it, everyone's economy is hit so that ain't a true argument either)
quote: We've had near record snowfall this year
quote: When I was in sixth grade, we had 60 inches of snow that winter, which really wasn't all that much above normal.
quote: In fact, even our current nuclear technology (which essentially is 1960s-early 70s era) is cost-competitive with fossil fuels and much cleaner from an emissions perspective.But we have far safer, cleaner, and more efficient designs for nuclear reactors on the books.
quote: Had we poured one TENTH of the research we've spent on wind, solar, and biofuels into nuclear, our energy problems would have long since been solved.
quote: That doesn't keep people watching/reading, and as such, doesn't generate any ad revenue.
quote: There's going to be an article about the dangers of everything till the day we die
quote: But I guess it takes a little bit of effort to understand that.
quote: I suppose we will have to wait 50 years for a few cities to go under water and for us to start losing square miles of coast
quote: should have done something 50 years sooner.
quote: UNEP states that the worst melting occurred in Europe, devastating the ski industry. Norway's Breidalblikkbrea glacier was the hardest hit, losing 10 feet of snow and ice in 2006, after only losing a foot the year prior.
quote: as well as the natural occurring gases caused by animal
quote: However, I want to know why so many of these scientific theories fail to incorporate one really HUGE variable...the sun? I think some article(s) (I think by Masher) mention increased sun activity, but if the sun fluctuates in the amount of "happy sunbeams" that visit the earth (sarcastic Inconvenient Truth reference there), my unscientific self says, "HEY, this will warm (or cool) the globe more than C02 or anything else."
quote: Larsen B, which collapsed in 2002, was particularly large, being almost the size of Rhode island, and was among the events referenced in Al Gore's movie an Inconvenient Truth, which won him the Nobel Peace Prize.
quote: Global warning doesn't mean that in Minnessota will get any warmer, most likely will get colder. It means weather extremes. So, the colder winters in the Central and Eastern USA are actually supporting this. Also, once the glaciers start melting, they don't stop. It is selfsufficient process, it means that the ice absorbed enough energy and it is over the melting point already. Eventually all the ice will melt, just the scientist are screaming because it happens ten times faster, then anyone expected.
quote: Read it in a science mag where they had a shot of a chunk of ice breaking off due to global warming.
quote: Manhattan that's located in NYC.
quote: Manhattan that's located in NYC
quote: The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone . Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.
quote: Now I'm going to go cower in fear because the economy sucks instead of trying to buy a house because the media tells me to.
quote: Did you know that 93% of mortgages in this nation are still paid on time and not in arrears?
quote: if you just watch the news, you would swear that everyone's mortgage is in trouble. The intentional misleading is mind boggling.
quote: But a 7% nationwide late/default rate on mortgages is HUGE.
quote: Listen, I’m a conservative who believes in small government, but God help us all if the government doesn’t step in to help out the financial institutes.
quote: While there is a chance that level heads will prevail,
quote: this crisis truly has the potential to make the Great Depression look like an economic slowdown.
quote: Do yourself a favor and at least minor in finance before you start talking about it. - sorry for the cheap shot but you asked for it.
quote: ..those losses impact only liquidity,..
quote: I’ll go further than that and actually correct you on the notion that we’re “3-5 months in to a standard recession”; we are NOT yet in a recession.
quote: If DailyTech is media, then they are making the decisions for you.
quote: Since they rated down everyone who claims there is global warming, and rated up everyone who claim there is no global warming or claimed it's just a cycle.
quote: Dailytech is a media with an opinion.
quote: If Dailytech has no opinion, then it should do away the rating system altogether, which can be rated only by moderators.
quote: These people are playing on emotions and fear, the exact same thing Hitler did