Warming in the Frozen Continent - Antarctica Melts
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The Wilkins Ice Shelf is about to detach from Antarctica, it has been melting at an alarming rate - losing 14% of its total size last year. This will increase substantially once water currents are able to flow around the ice shelf. What is most concerning is that without the Wilkins Ice Shelf, ice situated on land will more readily flow into the sea, causing sea level rise.
Temperatures in Antarctica have increased 3 degrees Celsius in the last 50 years.
And yet some people still don't believe in climate change?!
For anyone not up to date with the scientific evidence on warming in Antarctica I suggest you look at "Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year" by Steig et. al, Nature 457, 459-462.
"We find that West Antarctica warmed between 1957 and 2006 at a rate of 0.17+/-0.06 C per decade (95% confidence interval). Thus, the area of warming is much larger than the region of the Antarctic Peninsula. The peninsula warming averages 0.11+/-0.04 C per decade. We also find significant warming in East Antarctica at 0.10+/-0.07 C per decade (1957–2006). The continent-wide trend is 0.12+/-0.07 C per decade. In the reconstruction based on detrended TIR data, warming in West Antarctica remains significant at greater than 99% confidence, and the continent-wide mean trend remains at 0.08 C per decade..."
but rapid ice shelf collapses are not unknowen of in geological history, the ross ice shelf has been very stable for 5-7 ka compared to the retreat it experinced after the LGM.
what we do have to worry about is parts of the ice sheet that are grounded below sea level. If ice shelfs infront of these melt, their grounding lines could retreat back below sea level causing massive ice sheet collapse