Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wilkins Ice Shelf

First I wanted to apologize for being absent from my blog for so long. I've been sick with some sort of low grade cold or something. It has been making me lethargic and all around miserable. But, today is the first day I've felt a little better, but now I have my period. Lovely.....

Second, I wanted to comment on the news articles yesterday regarding the Antarctica Wilkins Ice Shelf collapse. I'm not sure if you have all heard about it but a large chunk of an ice shelf collapsed falling into the ocean. It's about the size of Conneticut. Scientists had predicted that with the increase in temperature in the region and the planet in general this ice shelf would begin to disintegrate in about 15 years. They were wrong. It's starting now. Sort of depressing.

So let me educate you. In 2002 we all heard about the breakup of the Larsen Ice Shelf. This was dramatic and helped catapult global warming into the forefront of discussions. A live animation that NASA put together is here. The total break up was about 2100 square miles of ice. That is HUGE. As you can see by the picture I've embedded the Wilkins Ice shelf is further south than the Larsens Shelf. It is actually 4 degrees latitude south of the Antarctica Circle. Not good news. Here is a video shot by researchers flying over the breakup. Please excuse the sappy music and commercial at the beginning of the video. What are you going to do, eh? Somebody has to pay for this stuff..... The total breakup of this is still unknown as it will continue for weeks and possibly years to come. Perhaps there is a small bit of good news in that winter is coming shortly to this region and will hopefully stop the collapse for now.

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