Entry #4: Antarctic Ice-Shelf In Danger Of Collapse

Last modified on July 25th, 2008

I read an article today that indicates how one of the largest ice-shelfs in the antarctic region is in danger of collapse:

Ice-Shelf About To Collapse

Photo From ESA

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is experiencing further disintegration that is threatening the collapse of the ice bridge connecting the shelf to Charcot Island. Since the connection to the island in the image centre helps to stabilise the ice shelf, it is likely the break-up of the bridge will put the remainder of the ice shelf at risk.

This break-up is puzzling to scientists because it has occurred in the Southern Hemispheric winter and does not have characteristics similar to two earlier events that occurred in 2008, which were comparable to the break-up of the Larsen-A and -B ice shelves.

“The scale of rifting in the newly-removed areas seems larger, and the pieces are moving out as large bergs and not toppled, finely-divided ice melange,” said Ted Scambos from the National Snow and Ice Data Center who uses ASAR images to track the area.

“The persistently low sea ice cover in the area and data from some interesting sources, electronic seal hats [caps worn by seals that provide temperature, depth and position data] seems to suggest that warm water beneath the halocline may be reaching the underside of the Wilkins Ice Shelf and thinning it rapidly – and perhaps reaching the surface, or at least mixing with surface waters.”

Obviously global warming is taking it’s toll on many parts of the world. A few years ago, scientists traveling to the North Pole saw, on their arrival, not ice, but instead a lake of water at the top of our planet. And as this article points out, the antarctic is deteriorating quickly as well.

It still boggles my mind how some governments, including those of Canada and the United States, how done so little to stop global warming, or have set such unrealistic schedules as to make their attempts rather futile.

Al Gore recently asked Americans to pledge to move the United States to within 100% renewable energy in 10 years, something that will obviously be hard, but he feels is something that is absolutely doable. Hopefully Al Gore can help inspire others to make changes, and help bring our planet back from the brink.

This entry was written for Blogathon 2008, and in support of the Union Gospel Mission charity. If you’d like to donate to the cause, please visit the blogathon donation page and fill out the form near the middle. We have currently raised $210 for this cause, and my goal is to reach $1000 before the end of tomorrow night. You can also follow the blogathon RSS feed by clicking here.

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