4 thoughts on “Antarctica from space

  1. Cassandra says:

    12/216: Operation IceBridge, NASA’s airborne survey of changes in polar ice, has discovered a rift in Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf that is about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep. The crack completely cuts through the ice shelf but it does not go all the way across it – once it does, it will produce an iceberg roughly the size of the state of Delaware. https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/rift-in-antarcticas-larsen-c-ice-shelf
    For more info re: Operation IceBridge see “NASA Nears Finish Line of Annual Study of Changing Antarctic Ice” @ https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nasa-nears-finish-line-of-annual-study-of-changing-antarctic-ice In other news: “Global Warming Research in Danger as Trump Appoints Climate Skeptic to NASA Team” https://theintercept.com/2016/12/01/global-warming-research-in-danger-as-trump-appoints-climate-skeptic-to-nasa-team/

  2. Bellwether says:

    Following Earth’s last ice age, which peaked 20,000 years ago, the Antarctic warmed between two and three times the average temperature increase worldwide, according to a new study by a team of American geophysicists. The disparity highlights the fact that the poles, both the Arctic in the north and the Antarctic in the south, amplify the effects of a changing climate, whether it gets warmer or cooler. The calculations in this study are in line with estimates from most climate models, proving that these models do a good job of estimating past climatic conditions and, very likely, future conditions in an era of climate change and global warming. {However} The situation today, with global warming driven primarily by human emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, is different from natural cycles, according to the study’s first author. The ability of the oceans to take up carbon dioxide cannot keep up with the rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which means carbon dioxide and global temperatures will continue to increase unless humans cut their carbon dioxide emissions. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-12/uoc–dlw120516.php

  3. Cassandra says:

    A colony of about 40,000 Adélie penguins in Antarctica has suffered a “catastrophic breeding event” – all but two chicks have died of starvation this year. It is the second time in just four years that such devastation – not previously seen in more than 50 years of observation – has been wrought on the population. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/12/penguin-catastrophe-leads-to-demands-for-protection-in-east-antarctica This year’s event has been attributed to an unusually large amount of sea ice. Overall, Antarctica has had a record low amount of summer sea ice, but the area around the colony has been an exception. The unusual extent of sea ice meant the penguins had to travel an extra 100km to forage for food. And the rainy weather left the chicks, which have poor waterproofing, wet and unable to keep warm.
    Yan Ropert-Coudert from France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, said the region had been severely affected by the break-up of the Mertz glacier tongue in 2010, when a piece of ice almost the size of Luxembourg – about 80 km long and 40km wide – broke off. That event, which occurred about 250km from Petrels Island, had a big impact on ocean currents and ice formation in the region.
    The finding has prompted urgent calls for the establishment of a marine protected area in East Antarctica, at next week’s meeting of 24 nations and the European Union at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Hobart.
    See also “Penguins starving to death is a sign that something’s very wrong in the Antarctic” by John Sauven, director of Greenpeace.

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