WAIS

Global warming in Antarctica: Glaciers accelerating, west Antarctic ice sheet losing mass

Scientists have been studying the climate change impact on ice shelfs and glaciers for some time in Antarctica, and particularly around the Antarctic Peninsula where there is substantial warming occurring increasing ice shelf melt and the speed and discharge of glaciers. The most recent studies predict a faster retreat for the Thwaites Glacier and that warm ocean currents are already speeding the melting of the Pine Island Glacier and Ice Shelf and Getz Ice Shelf. A NASA Icebridge flight detected a major new rift in the Pine Island ice shelf on October 14 - the start of the calving of a massive iceberg. A recent paper in Nature Geoscience discusses the Stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet in a warming world and the likelihood of collapse that would raise sea level by more than three metres over the course of several centuries or less.

Related: Record Increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions for 2010 | The Wilkins ice Bridge collapsed in April 2009 as Polar regions felt the heat of climate change. I reported as far back as 2004 that warming in Antarctica was cause for concern with ocean food chain crashing due to Antarctic warming. More recently in April 2011 I discussed Penguin numbers suffering with krill decline due to Global Warming.

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