Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
Ice Shelves Disappearing On Antarctic Peninsula
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 24, 2010


This image shows ice-front retreat in part of the southern Antarctic Peninsula from 1947 to 2009. USGS scientists are studying coastal and glacier change along the entire Antarctic coastline. The southern portion of the Antarctic Peninsula is one area studied as part of this project, and is summarized in the USGS report, "Coastal-Change and Glaciological Map of the Palmer Land Area, Antarctica: 1947-2009" (map I-2600-C). Photographer: , U.S. Geological Survey

Ice shelves are retreating in the southern section of the Antarctic Peninsula due to climate change. This could result in glacier retreat and sea-level rise if warming continues, threatening coastal communities and low-lying islands worldwide.

Research by the U.S. Geological Survey is the first to document that every ice front in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula has been retreating overall from 1947 to 2009, with the most dramatic changes occurring since 1990. The USGS previously documented that the majority of ice fronts on the entire Peninsula have also retreated during the late 20th century and into the early 21st century.

The ice shelves are attached to the continent and already floating, holding in place the Antarctic ice sheet that covers about 98 percent of the Antarctic continent. As the ice shelves break off, it is easier for outlet glaciers and ice streams from the ice sheet to flow into the sea. The transition of that ice from land to the ocean is what raises sea level.

"This research is part of a larger ongoing USGS project that is for the first time studying the entire Antarctic coastline in detail, and this is important because the Antarctic ice sheet contains 91 percent of Earth's glacier ice," said USGS scientist Jane Ferrigno.

"The loss of ice shelves is evidence of the effects of global warming. We need to be alert and continually understand and observe how our climate system is changing."

The Peninsula is one of Antarctica's most rapidly changing areas because it is farthest away from the South Pole, and its ice shelf loss may be a forecast of changes in other parts of Antarctica and the world if warming continues.

Retreat along the southern part of the Peninsula is of particular interest because that area has the Peninsula's coolest temperatures, demonstrating that global warming is affecting the entire length of the Peninsula.

The Antarctic Peninsula's southern section as described in this study contains five major ice shelves: Wilkins, George VI, Bach, Stange and the southern portion of Larsen Ice Shelf. The ice lost since 1998 from the Wilkins Ice Shelf alone totals more than 4,000 square kilometers, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

The USGS is working collaboratively on this project with the British Antarctic Survey, with the assistance of the Scott Polar Research Institute and Germany's Bundesamt fur Kartographie und Geodäsie. The research is also part of the USGS Glacier Studies Project, which is monitoring and describing glacier extent and change over the whole planet using satellite imagery.

The report, "Coastal-Change and Glaciological Map of the Palmer Land Area, Antarctica: 1947-2009" and its accompanying map is available online.

.


Related Links
US Geological Survey
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Possibly Triggered By Ocean Waves
San Diego CA (SPX) Feb 17, 2010
Depicting a cause-and-effect scenario that spans thousands of miles, a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and his collaborators discovered that ocean waves originating along the Pacific coasts of North and South America impact Antarctic ice shelves and could play a role in their catastrophic collapse. Peter Bromirski of Scripps Oceanography is the lead scienti ... read more


ICE WORLD
Into A Volcano To Test Suitcase-Sized Science Lab

US lunar pull-out leaves China shooting for moon

Astronomers Say Presence Of Water On Moon Will Lead To More Missions

Moon Exploration is Not Dead

ICE WORLD
More Silence From Phoenix

Spirit Hunkers Down For Winter

Enhanced 3D Model Of Mars Crater Edge Shows Ups And Downs

Two Windows On Ozone: Extending Our View Of The Martian Atmosphere

ICE WORLD
NASA Increases Support Contract To Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights Of Discovery

SwRI Announces Pioneering Program To Fly Next-Gen Suborbital Experiments With Crew

US committed to space: Obama tells astronauts

ICE WORLD
UK's First China Space Race Exhibition Launched

No Spacewalk From Tiangong-1

China's Mystery Spacelab

China launches orbiter for navigation system: state media

ICE WORLD
Endeavour Home After Completing A Special Delivery To ISS

Endeavour Crew Delivered Last Major US Portion Of ISS

Endeavour astronauts prepare to unveil room with cosmic view

Astronauts Move Cupola

ICE WORLD
French Guiana Welcomes The Second Passenger For Ariane 5's Upcoming Mission

Dispenser For Globalstar Constellation Declared Flight Worthy

Payload Prep Underway For Arianespace's First Launch Of 2010

EchoStar XIV Satellite Delivered To Launch Base

ICE WORLD
Seeing ExoPlanet Atmospheres From The Ground

New Technique For Detecting Earth-Like Planets

New technique helps search for another Earth

NASA's Rosetta "Alice" Spectrometer Reveals Earth's UV Fingerprint

ICE WORLD
Key Reviews Completed For TDRS Series K-L

New Photonic Material May Facilitate All-Optical Switching And Computing

Ultra-Fast Lasers To Open Doors To New Technologies

Quantum Leap For Phonon Lasers




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement