View Full Version : 2 Months Of Breaking Antarctic Ice In 5 Minutes

05-09-2013, 03:28 PM
I don't know, just kinda neat, serene...


05-09-2013, 05:29 PM
Cool, no pun intended :)

01-05-2017, 10:47 PM
Global warming about to break off 5,000 sq. km. iceberg from Larson C ice shelf...
Huge Antarctic iceberg poised to break away
Fri, 06 Jan 2017 - One of the 10 largest icebergs ever recorded is ready to break away from Antarctica, scientists say.

A long-running rift in the Larson C ice shelf grew suddenly in December and now just 20km of ice is keeping the 5,000 sq km piece from floating away. Larsen C is the most northern major ice shelf in Antarctica. Researchers based in Swansea say the loss of a piece a quarter of the size of Wales will leave the whole shelf vulnerable to future break-up. Larsen C is about 350m thick and floats on the seas at the edge of West Antarctica, holding back the flow of glaciers that feed into it. Researchers have been tracking the rift in Larsen C for many years, watching it with some trepidation after the collapse of Larsen A ice shelf in 1995 and the sudden break-up of the Larsen B shelf in 2002.

Last year, researchers from the UK's Project Midas reported that the Larsen C rift was growing fast. But in December the speed of the rift went into overdrive, growing by a further 18km in just a couple of weeks. What will become a massive iceberg now hangs on to the shelf by a thread just 20km long. "If it doesn't go in the next few months, I'll be amazed," project leader Prof Adrian Luckman, from Swansea University, told BBC News. "There hasn't been enough cloud-free Landsat images but we've managed to combine a pair of Esa Sentinel-1 radar images to notice this extension, and it's so close to calving that I think it's inevitable." Prof Luckman says the area that will break off will be about 5,000 sq km, a size he says that would put the iceberg among the top 10 biggest that have been recorded.

Ice shelf break up

The researchers say that this is a geographical and not a climate event. The rift has been present for decades, they say, but it has punched through at this particular time. It is believed that climate warming has brought forward the likely separation of the iceberg but the scientists say they have no direct evidence to support this. However, they are concerned about how any break-off will impact the rest of the ice shelf, given that its neighbour, Larsen B, disintegrated spectacularly in 2002 following a similar large calving event. "We are convinced, although others are not, that the remaining ice shelf will be less stable than the present one," said Prof Luckman. "We would expect in the ensuing months to years further calving events, and maybe an eventual collapse - but it's a very hard thing to predict, and our models say it will be less stable; not that it will immediately collapse or anything like that."

As it floats on the sea, the resulting iceberg from the shelf will not raise sea levels. But if the shelf breaks up even more, it could result in glaciers that flow off the land behind it to speed up their passage towards the ocean. This non-floating ice would have an impact on sea levels. According to estimates, if all the ice that the Larsen C shelf currently holds back entered the sea, global waters would rise by 10cm. All that is very much in the future. There are few certainties right now apart from an imminent change to the outline of Antarctica's icy coast. "The eventual consequences might be the ice shelf collapsing in years to decades," said Prof Luckman, "Even the sea level contribution of this area is not on anybody's radar; it's just a big geographical event that will change the landscape there."


01-17-2017, 12:12 PM
Granny says when it gets up here, she gonna take an icepick to it an' we gonna have chipped ice fer our lemonade...
Antarctic ice floe crack forces UK scientists to leave
January 17, 2017 - The British Antarctic Society is recalling scientists from its Halley VI polar research base in March after a fissure developed in the ice sheet.

The decision was taken after a huge crack appeared in the Brunt Ice Shelf, just 10 miles away from the Halley VI research station. "We want to do the right thing for our people,” said Captain Tim Stocking, Director of Operations at the British Antarctic Society (BAS). "Bringing them home for winter is a prudent precaution given the changes that our glaciologists have seen in the ice shelf in recent months."

https://www.yahoo.com/sy/ny/api/res/1.2/w5e_JapsM2eEFNNILsAZ7A--/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9NDUwO2g9MzAyO2lsPX BsYW5l/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/Reuters/2017-01-17T154126Z_1_LYNXMPED0G16H_RTROPTP_2_SCIENCE-ANTARCTICA.JPG.cf.jpg
NASA's DC-8 flies over the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica October 26, 2010 in this handout photo provided by NASA

There are currently 88 scientists stationed at the Halley VI research centre, which monitors climate data and played a key role in discovering the ozone hole in 1986. The station is currently undergoing a process of relocation, after a fissure - once thought to be dormant – began encroaching on the base in 2012, advancing a mile every year. But the new site is faced with another huge chasm, which developed in October 2016. Scientists from the center have been monitoring the chasm’s development but cannot be sure whether a large iceberg will "calve,’ splitting away from the main ice shelf.

According to the BAS, the risk of this happening is low and the decision to pull scientists form the research station was made as a precautionary measure. If the ice fractured during summer months, an evacuation could be swiftly mounted. But the forthcoming Antarctic winter complicates things, bringing 24-hour darkness and frozen seas, making evacuation an extremely complex process. Scientists will return to their duties at the research center once winter has passed.


02-07-2017, 06:47 PM
Portion of Larsen Ice Shelf about to break away...
Crack in Antarctic Larsen Shelf Grew Quickly in January
February 07, 2017 - VOA has an update on that giant crack in an Antarctic ice shelf scientists say is now sprinting towards its almost certain break from the continent. The crack is in part of the Larsen C Ice Shelf, which floats off the coast of northwestern Antarctica.

Growing, growing, gone!

Martin O'Leary is a research officer at Swansea University and a member of Project MIDAS, an Antarctic research project based in Britain. We spoke to him in early January when MIDAS announced that a crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf had expanded by an estimated 18 kilometers in December. We spoke to him again today and he said the rate of expansion has sped up since then. He told VOA "the rift grew again in mid-January (some time between the 13th and 19th), by around 10 kilometers."

The current location of the rift on Larsen C, as of January 19 2017.

O'Leary says his team has "been monitoring this crack since around 2010, when it started to become significantly larger than the surrounding cracks. It's been of particular interest since around 2014, when it became clear that the berg was going to be a large one." By "large one," O'Leary means a chunk of ice that represents between 9 and 12 percent of the entire country-sized shelf - "around 5,000 square kilometers (about half the size of Lebanon)." Today, the only thing holding the iceberg onto the Antarctic mainland is a strip of ice about 20 kilometers long.

What is an ice shelf?

Larsen C is called an ice shelf because, while it is still attached to the land, it is already floating out at sea. The Larsen Ice Shelf is actually a series of three interconnected formations that grew out from the Antarctic Mainland over tens of thousands of years. Larsen A, the most northern of the three segments, and the smallest, broke free from the mainland in 1995.

An animation of the opening of the rift, as observed by ESA's Sentinel-1 satellites

The larger Larsen B Ice Shelf, an estimated 3,200 square kilometers of ice with an average thickness of 220 meters, disintegrated into the sea in 2002. And now Larsen C, larger still, with an ice thickness averaging 350 meters, looks to lose the next big chunk of the ice shelf. Adrian Luckman, another member of the MIDAS team, told the International Business Times, "If it doesn't go in the next few months, I'll be amazed. ... It's so close to calving that I think it's inevitable."

What happens if it goes? (http://www.voanews.com/a/sci-antarctic-ice-shelf/3709578.html)

04-07-2017, 02:48 AM
Icebergs causing detours in No. Atlantic...
Unusually Large Swarm of Icebergs Drifts into Shipping Lanes
April 06, 2017 — More than 400 icebergs have drifted into the North Atlantic shipping lanes over the past week in an unusually large swarm for this early in the season, forcing vessels to slow to a crawl or take detours of hundreds of miles.

Experts are attributing it to uncommonly strong counter-clockwise winds that are drawing the icebergs south, and perhaps also global warming, which is accelerating the process by which chunks of the Greenland ice sheet break off and float away. As of Monday, there were about 450 icebergs near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, up from 37 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Coast Guard's International Ice Patrol in New London, Connecticut. Those kinds of numbers are usually not seen until late May or early June. The average for this time of year is about 80. In the waters close to where the Titanic went down in 1912, the icebergs are forcing ships to take precautions.

Icebergs force detours

Instead of cutting straight across the ocean, trans-Atlantic vessels are taking detours that can add around 400 miles to the trip. That's a day and a half of added travel time for many large cargo ships. Close to the Newfoundland coast, cargo ships owned by Oceanex are throttling way back to 3 or 4 knots as they make their way to their homeport in St. John's, which can add up to a day to the trip, said executive chairman, Capt. Sid Hynes. One ship was pulled out of service for repairs after hitting a chunk of ice, he said. “It makes everything more expensive,” Hynes said Wednesday. “You're burning more fuel, it's taking a longer time, and it's hard on the equipment.'' He called it a “very unusual year.”

Icebergs floating near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic Ocean.

'Extreme ice season'

Coast Guard Cmdr. Gabrielle McGrath, who leads the ice patrol, said she has never seen such a drastic increase in such a short time. Adding to the danger, three icebergs were discovered outside the boundaries of the area the Coast Guard had advised mariners to avoid, she said. McGrath is predicting a fourth consecutive “extreme ice season” with more than 600 icebergs in the shipping lanes. Most icebergs entering the North Atlantic have “calved” off the Greenland ice sheet. Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, said it is possible climate change is leading to more icebergs in the shipping lanes, but wind patterns are also important.

Ice patrol a success

In 2014, there were 1,546 icebergs in the shipping lanes — the sixth most severe season on record since 1900, according to the patrol. There were 1,165 icebergs in 2015 and 687 in 2016. The International Ice Patrol was formed after the sinking of the Titanic to monitor iceberg danger in the North Atlantic and warn ships. It conducts reconnaissance flights that are used to produce charts. In 104 years, no ship that has heeded the warnings has struck an iceberg, according to the ice patrol.


05-20-2017, 12:48 AM
Granny says, "Dat's right - purt soon dey gonna be growin' vegetables atta South Pole...
Climate Change Fueling Rapid Greening of Antarctic Peninsula
May 19, 2017 - One of the coldest areas in the world is getting greener, and researchers say it’s because of global warming.

Researchers from the University of Exeter in England who first studied the increase of moss and microbes in the Antarctic Peninsula in 2013, now say the greening of the region is widespread. "This gives us a much clearer idea of the scale over which these changes are occurring," says lead author Matthew Amesbury of the University of Exeter. "Previously, we had only identified such a response in a single location at the far south of the Antarctic Peninsula, but now we know that moss banks are responding to recent climate change across the whole of the Peninsula."

Researchers say the Antarctic Peninsula is rapidly greening due to climate change.

The peninsula, researchers say, is one of the more rapidly warming area in the world, adding that temperatures have risen by about a half-degree Celsius each decade since the 1950s. For their study, researchers looked at five more core samples from three areas of moss banks over 150 years old. The new samples included three Antarctic Islands off the peninsula. The cores, researchers say, showed “increased biological activity” over the past 50 years as the peninsula warmed. Researchers say their findings show “fundamental and widespread change,” and that the change was “striking.”

The changes are likely to continue.

"Temperature increases over roughly the past half-century on the Antarctic Peninsula have had a dramatic effect on moss banks growing in the region, with rapid increases in growth rates and microbial activity," says Dan Charman, who led the research. "If this continues, and with increasing amounts of ice-free land from continued glacier retreat, the Antarctic Peninsula will be a much greener place in the future." The next step for researchers is to look back even further in history to see how climate change affected the region before humans made an impact. The findings appeared in Current Biology on May 18.


05-20-2017, 12:50 AM
Like the Vikings enjoyed. Damn SUVs.

06-24-2017, 06:24 AM
Granny gettin' out her ice chipper...
Giant Iceberg Like 'Niggling Tooth' Set to Crack off Antarctica
June 21, 2017 — One of the biggest icebergs on record is like a "niggling tooth" about to snap off Antarctica and will be an extra hazard for ships around the frozen continent as it breaks up, scientists said on Wednesday.

An area of the Larsen C ice shelf, about as big as the U.S. state of Delaware or the Indonesian island of Bali, is connected by just 13 km (8 miles) of ice after a crack has crept about 175 kms along the sheet, with a new jump last month. "It's keeping us all on tenterhooks," Andrew Fleming, of the British Antarctic Survey, told Reuters of the lengthening and widening rift, adding "it feels like a niggling tooth" of a child as it comes loose. Ice shelves are flat-topped areas of ice floating on the sea at the end of glaciers. The Larsen C ice is about 200 meters (656 ft) thick with about 20 meters jutting above the water.

An aerial photo released by NASA shows a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf

Big icebergs break off Antarctica naturally, meaning scientists are not linking the rift to man-made climate change. The ice, however, is a part of the Antarctic peninsula that has warmed fast in recent decades. "There is no other evidence of change on the ice shelf. This could simply be a single calving event which will then be followed by re-growth," Adrian Luckman, a professor at the University of Swansea in Wales, told Reuters. His team reckons the ice will break off within months, perhaps in days or years.

Risks for shipping

The ice, about 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles), will add to existing risks for ships as it breaks apart and melts. The peninsula is outside major trade routes but the main destination for cruise ships visiting from South America. In 2009, more than 150 passengers and crew were evacuated after the MV Explorer sank after striking an iceberg off the Antarctic peninsula. Fleming said the Larsen C iceberg would add an extra pulse of ice and would be hazardous especially if smaller chunks reached usually ice-free areas in the South Atlantic, rather than staying close to Antarctica's coast. The Larsen B ice shelf nearby broke up in 2002 and some of the ice drifted into the South Atlantic towards the island of South Georgia, east of Argentina.

In 2000, the biggest iceberg recorded broke off the Ross ice shelf and was about the size of Jamaica at 11,000 square kms. Bits have lingered for years. The loss of ice shelves does not in itself affect sea levels because the ice is already floating. But their disappearance lets glaciers on land slip faster towards the ocean, thereby raising sea levels. NASA estimates that the Larsen C ice shelf pins back ice on land that would add a centimeter (0.4 inch) to world sea levels, which have gained about 20 centimeters in the past century.