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From: The Independent: Dramatic change in West Antarctic ice could produce 16ft rise in sea levels
Researchers from the Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey said yesterday the speed of the complete disintegration of the 200-metre thick, 3,250 square kilometre Larsen B iceshelf was "staggering".
"We knew what was left of the Larsen B iceshelf would collapse eventually, but this is staggering," said Dr David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the BAS in Cambridge. "It's just broken apart. It fell over like a wall and has broken as if into hundreds of thousands of bricks".
The collapse is believed to have dumped more ice into the Southern Ocean than all of the previous half century's icebergs combined. "This is the largest single event in a series of retreats by ice shelves in the peninsula over the last 30 years.
It's becoming fashionable to claim rapid Antarctic warming too - from NYT yesterday:
"Antarctica, Warming, Looks Ever More Vulnerable" - "A continent is quickly changing. The questions are how and why." (New York Times)
Antarctica, however, is not warming. While the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis insists the Antarctic should demonstrate the most dramatic response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels due to its cold, dry atmosphere, the simple fact is the Antarctic is not cooperating.
Because the Larsen B iceshelf and the Thwaites ice tongue were already floating, their disintegration will have no impact on sea levels which will only rise if the ice held back on land by the ice shelf flows more quickly onto the sea.
Originally posted by p a v e l
What exactly is "collapse"? Collapse where? How? Into pieces, or fall off into the ocean altogether?