Arctic becomes an island as ice melts

Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 01:20 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
walter :

the breakup of a major ice-bridge in the ANTARCTIC can now be added to the trend of more breakaway ice :


Ice bridge ruptures in Antarctic
An ice bridge linking a shelf of ice the size of Jamaica to two islands in Antarctica has snapped.

Scientists say the collapse could mean the Wilkins Ice Shelf is on the brink of breaking away, and provides further evidence or rapid change in the region.

Sited on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Wilkins shelf has been retreating since the 1990s.

Researchers regarded the ice bridge as an important barrier, holding the remnant shelf structure in place.

Its removal will allow ice to move more freely between Charcot and Latady islands, into the open ocean.

European Space Agency satellite pictures had indicated last week that cracks were starting to appear in the bridge. Newly created icebergs were seen to be floating in the sea on the western side of the peninsula, which juts up from the continent towards South America's southern tip.

cicerone imposter
Reply Wed 8 Apr, 2009 07:35 pm
Some more news on the Antarctica ice break.

Update: Antarctic Bridge that Was Holding Wilkins Ice Shelf Ruptures
By Alexander Toldt
15:00, April 6th 2009 1 vote
Vote this story

Update: Antarctic Bridge that Was Holding Wilkins Ice Shelf Ruptures

The rupture of the ice bridge that was holding Antarctica’s Wilkins Ice Shelf in place will most likely cause huge icebergs that could eventually head for New Zealand.

Researchers say that the Wilkins Ice Shelf is the largest slab of ice to break away from Antarctica in recent times and a strong sing that the process of global warming is accelerating much faster that scientists had estimated. The rising temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula were the cause of the rupture. The ice bridge that was holding the ice shelf in place melted and eventually broke off.

Most researchers and scientists preoccupied with climate change were amazed with how fast the Wilkins Ice Shelf broke off. They were expecting this to occur, but not so soon. “This one was a very extensive ice shelf until the 1990s when it started retreating,” said David Vaughan, of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), according to Timesonline.co.uk.

The ice bridge that was holding the massive ice shelf in place was 25 miles (40km) long but only 500 meters wide at its narrowest point. Te ice shelf is expected to travel along the circumpolar current towards eastern New Zeeland and the Pacific Ocean. The icebergs could reach the New Zeeland coasts in about two years, but only if they are very big and if they are caught up in the currents that go that way.

The ice bridge that was holding the ice shelf (that has been disintegrating since the 1960s) in place ruptured Saturday as glaciers are melting at an astonishing rate due to the global warming process.
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