Global Warming And The Very Independent Antarctic Ice Sheet

Submitted by: lalapancakes 4 months ago in Science

It looks like the fourth largest chunk of Antarctic ice is preparing to perform it’s finest impression of Brexit, in that it’s making an exit against everyone’s better judgement. In 2004 scientists began warning the world of the incoming collapse of the “Larsen C” ice shelf, predicting a catastrpohic breakup due to the warming of oceanic currents. Here we are thirteen years later and the scientists were right, the only thing between the world’s largest iceberg hitting the open ocean is 12-miles left of a physical connection to the inner Antarctic ice shelf, versus the 100-miles of a very wide crack growing down the center of it.

When this sheet goes, scientists are worried about all the looser ice flows falling out, away from the Antarctic continent behind it. Thus beginning a faster and more dramatic collapse of the overall Antarctic ice shelf and a lot more water in the ocean.

There are 13 comments:
Male 1,282
Grab it pull it up to California and make the drought go away.
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Male 37,730
I guess since the land ice there has been gaining mass most of the past 25 years? Things like this will happen eh?

REMEMBER: If you can't find the Blue Send Button it's up there by the title...
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Male 2,356
glowby Point of clarification: Larsen C is an ice shelf, which by definition is an expanse of ice over water (an ice sheet is an expanse of ice over land). Larsen C comprises no land ice.
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Male 37,730
squrlz4ever THANK YOU Mr.Squrlz! I specifically said LAND ICE which has grown, overall. Ok glowby? Your own link says gains are greater than losses... why does it look like you're arguing against what I said? :-/

The sea ice will not raise the ocean level, it breaks off ALL the time. We've only studied it a short while, so obviously 'size records' will be set often. 
Important? Interesting? Sure!
Doomsday? LOLZ! Nope.
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Male 2,356
5cats This is one of those rare occasions, 5Cats, where your climate change information and NASA's climate change information agree. Quick, somebody check to see if Hell has frozen over!  :)

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses

Here's the short version of what seems to be going on. Unlike the Arctic, the Antarctica is really a world of its own in terms of the global climate. The cold down there tends to stay down there, and this is why climate scientists are more concerned at this point with the Arctic rather than the Antarctic. That said, the Antarctic Peninsula juts out far enough north that it encounters waters that are warming, which seems to be why the Larsen C ice shelf is starting to break apart. Larsen A and Larsen B, which were also on the peninsula, have already broken apart (in 1995 and 2002).
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Male 2,400
Also, Jonathan Bamber, U. of Bristol weighed in.
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Female 3,392
Make sure its not that ruthless black ice...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efiW2K8gASM
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Male 2,356
Good article. From what I can see, it gets the science right and neither over- nor understates the significance of what's occurring. TLDR version: A significiant calving event suggests that one of the Antarctic's larger ice shelves may be breaking up. If that ice shelf goes, glaciers behind it will likely flow into the ocean faster, which would raise sea level by about four inches. Nothing catastrophic, but it's troubling.

By the way, great lede, LaLa.
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Male 375
Nothing 600 miles of duct tape won't fix.
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Male 1,255
muert Are you MacGuyVer?!
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Male 6,632
muert Make Antarctica  pay for it?
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Male 375
normalfreak2 You just know it is a plot.  They are going to wait for it to calve, then sail that bastard right to the States.  Bypassing the new wall entirely.  We should get those guys who were volunteering to patrol the border to go down and make sure no illegals hop on that future iceberg before it takes off.
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