Larson C Ice Shelf is in Danger Calving

Posted on June 14th, 2017 in Environment by Robert Miller
  • The Larson Ice shelf is part of the Antarctica and recent reports suggest it is in danger of breaking off.  Scientists have watched a rift grow along one of Antarctica’s ice shelves for years. Now it’s in the final days of cutting off a piece of ice that will be one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, it is in danger of calving.
  • It’s the latest dreary news from the icy underbelly of the planet, which has seen warm air and water reshape the landscape in profound ways.
  • The crack has spread 17 miles over the past six days, marking the biggest leap since January. It’s also turned toward where the ice shelf ends and is within eight miles of making a clean break. There’s not much standing in its way either. “The rift has now fully breached the zone of soft ‘suture’ ice originating at the Cole Peninsula and there appears to be very little to prevent the iceberg from breaking away completely,” scientists monitoring the ice with Project MIDAS wrote on their blog.
  • The breakup is sure to be a spectacle both awe-inducing and horrifying. The iceberg on the verge of splitting off is estimated to be the size of Delaware, covering an area of 1,930 square miles. That’s equal to 10 percent of the ice shelf’s total area.
  • Once it breaks off, scientists are concerned that the rest of ice shelf could collapse afterwards, a fate that befell Larsen A in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002. In Larsen B’s case, the ice shelf collapsed in the span of a month following an influx of mild air.
  • In February, the New York Times reported that when the iceberg breaks off, it will weaken or destroy two key areas where ice overlaps islands. Those areas help keep the ice shelf from falling apart. Losing them could dramatically reduce the remaining ice shelf’s stability. Larsen C is substantially larger than its former neighbors Larsen A and B, and its loss would be a huge blow to ice on the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • The changes don’t just stop with the Larsen C crack or the Antarctic Peninsula in general. The vast majority of ice shelves are losing volume due to rising ocean and air temperatures. That’s helped prime parts of West Antarctica for what might be unstoppable melt that could raise sea levels at least 10 feet!
  • Researchers also recently found meltwater ponds are much more common than previously thought. They even discovered a roaring seasonal waterfall on the Nansen Ice Shelf.
  • These and other findings make clear that the Larsen C crack is just one of many changes happening to Antarctica. Global warming has pushed temperatures up to 5°F higher in the region since the 1950s and they could increase up to 7°F further by the end of the century, putting more stress on ice.
  • Though the changes are happening in the most remote part of the planet, they’re being felt thousands of miles away as ice turns to water and starts to lap against increasingly beleaguered coastal communities around the world. And the impacts will only grow more severe unless carbon pollution is reined in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Antarctica…..

Posted on May 28th, 2017 in Climage Change,Science,Trump Mania by Robert Miller

Antarctica is coming more sharply into focus, as climatologists, based on preliminary studies, have assessed the real dangers imposed by melting of the Antarctica ice and the threats that it poses to coastal cities. The New York Times is running a three part series on Antarctica, the first of which you can see HERE. This is a masterful piece of reporting, and it carries a message for all of us. The second part in this series you can view HERE.  The third part of this series you can view HERE (Each of them has a different local web address). This is a very important series, especially if you live in a coastal city.

  • More than 60% of the world’s fresh water resides in the ice sheets of Antarctica; and suddenly scientists are scrambling  for more data, alarmed by the threat of coastal flooding.  A few years ago most scientists thought they didn’t have to worry about Antarctica, it appeared to qualify as the picture of stability. But, a rapid deterioration of Antarctica would cause the sea level to rise so fast that tens of millions of coastal refugees would have to flee inland, causing societies to meet the breaking point of their culture and perhaps disintegrate. Climate scientists once regarded that scenario for disaster films. But now they cannot rule that out.
  • Recent computer forecasts suggest that if green house gas emissions continue at the high level that exists now, parts of Antarctica might break off some ice causing sea levels to rise six feet or more, by the end of this century. Remote as Antarctica seems to be, everyone who gets in a car, eats a steak or boards an airplane contributes to emissions that puts the coastal cities in jeopardy. If all the ice in Antarctica were to melt, like today, the sea level would rise by more than 160 ft! Research shows that if we burn all the fossil fuels known to exist, the collapse of the ice sheet will be inevitable.
  • Perhaps 25,000 years ago ice sheets began to melt and sea levels began to rise. Over several thousand years, coast lines began receded inland by as much as hundred miles.  Human civilization did not yet exist, but early societies of hunters and gatherers living along the world’s  shorelines would have watched the inundation claim their lands. Remnants of that ice age remain. A little bit of ice still clings to the mountains, but the main survivors are Greenland and Antarctica. Scientists once thought that further destruction of the ice sheets would take thousands of years. But starting in the 1970s, some warned that the ice sheets could be vulnerable and especially if the greenhouse gas emissions were not checked.
  • The race is on. Scientists are racing to understand what is happening to the ice shelf as the planet warms around it. They are also trying to measure the role of human-caused climate change in weakening other parts of the West Antarctica ice sheet, and to fathom how damaging warming seas and changing wind patterns might ultimately prove to be. To date now one seems able to answer these questions.
  • The answers carry profound implications. In the scientists’ worse case computer simulations, continued, continued global warming causes the Ross Ice Shelf to collapse starting as early as the middle of this century.

How anyone can stand and report that “global warming is a Chinese Hoax,” as President Trump stated throughout his campaign as a candidate for the presidency, I do not personally understand it. As Noam Chomsky once said “the Republican party is the worst party in history.”

RFM

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Breaking News………

Posted on May 20th, 2017 in Politics by Robert Miller

It seems like the Washington Post has become a better newspaper under Jeff Bezos’ leadership. At least that’s the way it seems to me. The founder of Amazon.com is making waves, as he continues to improve the Washington Post, which is now a rival for the New York Times. Not bad for a person that started out as an engineer, and quickly became an entrepreneur. The Washington Post has a new visual display showing the Russian connections for future use which you can view HERE. It is the most recent development which shows all the major players on the Trump squad, including some Russian players that we haven’t seen before; one must remember that an unidentified person of interest is now under investigation, and he/she is a member of the White House Staff, meaning that the investigation will be in an accelerated mode in the coming weeks and months.  This person, for obvious reasons has not been identified yet. (Jared Kushner, President Trumps son-in-law, has been identified as the new person under investigation).  All of these efforts point to an increasing level of pressure on the White House staff, especially give the fact, which we have seen reinforced lately, with many White House staffers, wondering if the are the next person to be thrown underneath the bus, as Donald Trump, in recent weeks has become famous for doing just that. The article that addresses this news and be seen HERE

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