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New Risk: Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelf

  • April 6th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

antarctica-sat-2009.jpgThe European Space Agency (ESA) says its satellite watch has spotted the start of a major break-away of the huge ice shelf in Antarctica  — another gross melting effect from global warning.

This statement from the ESA spells out the story in plain terms:-

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is at risk of partly breaking away from the Antarctic Peninsula as the ice bridge that connects it to Charcot and Latady Islands looks set to collapse.

The beginning of what appears to be the demise of the ice bridge began this week when new rifts forming along its centre axis resulted in a large block of ice breaking away.

The Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) images acquired on 2 April by ESA’s Envisat satellite confirm that the rifts are quickly expanding along the ice bridge.

Dr Angelika Humbert from the Institute of Geophysics, Münster University, and Dr Matthias Braun from the Center for Remote Sensing, University of Bonn, witnessed the recent development during their daily monitoring activities of the ice sheet using data from Envisat and the German Aerospace Center’s TerraSAR-X satellite.

Reference:

ESA News, Paris, Collapse of the ice bridge supporting Wilkins Ice Shelf appears imminent, 3.4.09. http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMD07EH1TF_index_0.html, (6.4.09)

Picture:

Satellite spots the cracks, ESA

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