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Collapse Of The Larsen B Ice Shelf Unprecedented During The Past 10,000 Years

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posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 11:30 PM
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The spectacular collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf is unprecedented during the past 10,000 years. But the Larsen B ice shelf is not the only Antarctic ice shelf to collapse. Eugene Domack, professor of geosciences at Hamilton College has published an article in the August 4 issue of the journal "Nature".


Hamilton: Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelf Unprecedented

August 3, 2005


The Antarctic Peninsula is undergoing greater warming than almost anywhere on Earth, a condition perhaps associated with human-induced greenhouse effects. According to the cover article published in the August 4 issue of the journal Nature, the spectacular collapse of Antarctica's Larsen B Ice Shelf, an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, is unprecedented during the past 10,000 years.

Domack's paper provides evidence that the break-up of the ice shelf was caused by a combination of long-term thinning (by a few tens of meters) over thousands of years and short term (multi-decadal) cumulative increases in surface air temperature that have exceeded the natural variation of regional climate during the Holocene period (the last 10,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age).

Using data collected from six sediment cores in the vicinity of the former ice shelf, Domack and his colleagues conclude that the Larsen ice shelf had been intact but was slowly thinning during the course of the current interglacial period. They attribute the recent collapse to the effects of climate warming in the Antarctic Peninsula, which is more pronounced in this region than elsewhere in Antarctica or the rest of the world. The Larsen B ice shelf is not alone in its demise. In recent years, the Antarctic Peninsula has lost ice shelves totaling over 4825 square miles.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Satellite Image of Larsen B Ice Shelf Collapse


I wonder if this will cause a significant rise of the sea level in the near future... "The Day After Tomorrow" anyone?

[edit on 2005/8/4 by Hellmutt]




posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 12:26 AM
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I don't know how much sea level would rise, negligible considering how vast the ocean is, but the cold ice will affect global weather patterns as the ice melts and cools the suface temperature. It don't look good. It will affect the streams that cycle around the globe much like arteries of the heart and at the very least, patterns will shift.

Makes me wonder if what we were looking at on another thread (120 degree temperature change in one day and it was a hot spot... we had contacted several people and were told it is impossible, the temp should be around 50 below and yet the sat data showed 40 above) wasn't in fact an attempt to bring this about. Its the warm water that causes 'canes and maybe we are trying to interrupt a pattern?
Thanks for posting that. I think I'm going to shoot him another email and see what he says.



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 01:29 AM
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But this little chunk of ice will have no effect on global climate.

It may change salinity at a local level as it melts but can't have any impacts on a global scale such as a rise in sea level or a change in ocean temp.

You have to realize that an ice shelf is floating on the surface of the sea and not falling from the land into the sea. This fact negates any influence on sea level change.

If you want to do a simple experiment you could take a VERY LARGE container full of water at a specific temp. and place a single ice cube to float at the top. Mark your water level and record the temp. Wait for the ice to melt.
Measure your water level and temp. again.

No change................


I don't want to deny global warming as a fact, but this small burg will have no effect in the grand scale of things. But it may be a sign of things to come.

The loss of ice from glaciers that reside on land is the most pressing problem that nations will face. Not only from the loss of melt runoff feeding agricultural land and supplying drinking water, but all this water ends up in the sea, hence the rise in sea level.

A major melt of the ice in the northern hemisphere could, and most likely would, shut down the current that flows up the eastern seaboard of the USA.
The effects of this could be a disaster for our planet, bringing changes in climate for the entire globe, and in particular, to Europe.

Doom and gloom, no matter how you look at it.........................



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:17 AM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder

A major melt of the ice in the northern hemisphere could, and most likely would, shut down the current that flows up the eastern seaboard of the USA.
The effects of this could be a disaster for our planet, bringing changes in climate for the entire globe, and in particular, to Europe.

Doom and gloom, no matter how you look at it.........................


[edit on 5-8-2005 by reblazed]



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:20 AM
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Sorry .... can't quite figure out how to add to quotes ...

Why do you specify Europe?



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:52 AM
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Originally posted by reblazed

Why do you specify Europe?


The Gulf Stream flows up the east coast of North America and crosses the North Atlantic in what is called The Drift. As it reaches the continental shelf near Europe it splits into two flows that move north and south. It is this Drift that brings warm equatorial water across to Europe and regulates the climate.

This current could shut down due to a rapid influx of fresh cold water from melting polar ice and result in very cold winters for Europe, and very hot summers.

And just a little add on: The fishing industry that is already in severe danger of being decimated could be over for good. Wild species like Cod don't adapt well to sudden climate change. So it would be "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish"



posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 03:04 AM
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I must admit I had not thought of a major ice melt in those terms. When I think major ice melt I've thought of the melt redirecting the waters that are surronded by land (lakes, rivers, etc) and the catastrophic effects caused by this. You've just widened my view ... thanks

[edit on 5-8-2005 by reblazed]



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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As I started to look into this a bit more I'm finding that we are moving into an era of a world without ice. The rapid loss of glaciers is speeding up and the polar ice is in decline. Canada has lost many northern lakes due to warming of the perma-frost allowing the water to seep away. Along with this warming comes the loss of sea ice (bye-bye polar bear, your services are no longer required). We may soon have a year round passage across the north of Canada for use by shipping.


A new study which blames warmer temperatures for recent Antarctic ice shelf collapses predicts that a bigger shelf the size of Tasmania will break off in the next couple of years.

In 2002, a piece of ice roughly the size of Luxembourg called 'Larsen B' sheered off the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula and broke up into hundreds of giant icebergs.
www.abc.net.au...

Get out your hip waders everyone, the water is on the rise and there is no turning back without a dramatic change in how we treat our planet.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder
As I started to look into this a bit more I'm finding that we are moving into an era of a world without ice. .

Which is actually part of a larger problem, the disappearance of ALL freshwater in general.
www.unep.org...
freshwater.unep.net...

No matter if you can't grow food when there is not enough water to drink. Doom and gloom (maybe dune?) is right my friend.
[edited for extra link and spelling]

[edit on 7-8-2005 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 03:08 PM
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Living near the Great Lakes I've always laughed at the thought of water conservation due the vastness of the Canadian supply, but we are the lucky ones.
The pressure on the supply in countries like India is growing by the day as their population grows beyond 1 billion. Wow!!! That's too many people in a small area that all want to drink, cook, wash, etc....... and the water they have is polluted.

There are now over 7,500 desalination plants around the world and more being constructed all the time, but I just can't see that as being a sollution for a country like India without water becoming very expensive.

Anyone think wars will be fought over water rights in the near future?????
I sure do.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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delete?

[edit on 7-8-2005 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 04:37 PM
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OK, that last post did put a twist to the topic.
I realize that was your oppinion but is there anyway you can back any of that up?

Mars won't help us much if the Sun incinerates everything in our solar system and in the short term this is simply not happening, we'll get a few more good years out of the old girl yet. The Sun is only about 4.5 billion years old and in the prime of life. Sure it's fluctuations effect the Earth, but if you think the impact of man isn't having a serious effect on global warming, your just deluding yourself.

Even countries like the USA, that have a vested interest in denying global warming, are coming around and admitting that something has to be done by man because we are the cause.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder
OK, that last post did put a twist to the topic.
I realize that was your oppinion but is there anyway you can back any of that up?


Yeah I deleted it sorry. Anyways I do not have Proof, but I do have reasons for that opinion based upon facts that are easily observable, like the ones mentioned before. Sorry no proof, but plenty of reason. My theory is just an expansion of the solar variation theory really.

Dr Sami Solanki, the director of the renowned Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, who led the research, said: "The Sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures

Better now?

july.fixedreference.org...

Sorry yeah back on topic, where were we? Oh yeah, more evidence that we are screwed, that's right! My bad.

[edit on 7-8-2005 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 05:36 PM
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It looks like there are many factors that require further research. A quote from your first link says:
Quote: Dr Solanki does not know what is causing the Sun to burn brighter now or how long this cycle would last.

He says that the increased solar brightness over the past 20 years has not been enough to cause the observed climate changes but believes that the impact of more intense sunshine on the ozone layer and on cloud cover could be affecting the climate more than the sunlight itself. Unquote.....

We may be going through an increase in solar output which is making what we do to the environment even worse. I'm going to do a search for any other studies done on this and see what I find out.

Thanks for the links.

(anyway you can edit that first link? It changed the page width)

Edit To Add: asala had a thread the other day that said how to shorten a link. I couldn't do it right but take a look and see what you think.
www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 7-8-2005 by anxietydisorder]



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 06:10 PM
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Perhaps some of you eco-freaks can explain why melting ice will in any way raise sea level. Now, my basic chemistry classes where some time ago but I distinctly remember that water has some special properties, one of those is that it does not displace less volume in frozen state as in liquid state.

You can verify this at home. Fill a big glass of ice to the edge with your favorite beverage. Let the ice melt…the liquid will not overflow the glass.

So please explain how fresh water ice melting will suddenly effect the world’s sea level? I can see it effecting saliently or even the temperature but volume…nah…

Thanks!



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 06:54 PM
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Antarctica is not a big floating piece of ice. It is a continent. The ice there is not floating but rests on land. When the ice melts, the sea level will rise.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 07:03 PM
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Very nice picture, I would not worry much about the level of water rising more than the amount of fresh water in the sea that could cause the unbalance of the salinity in the sea.

That will probably be the nest problem that we will be facing or future generations and the major impact in the weather.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by MrNice

So please explain how fresh water ice melting will suddenly effect the world’s sea level? I can see it effecting saliently or even the temperature but volume…nah…

Thanks!


I know the topic started off talking about the Larson B ice shelf, and in that sense your right. This isn't going to raise the sea level at all because it was ice already floating on the surface of the ocean. Net +/- would be next to nothing.

It's when all the fresh water that's locked up as ice on the land melts you run into trouble. As the glaciers are eroded away by the warming world all that water runs out to the sea. People all over the world have built their lives around these glaciers and their run-off, and the supply is going to run out down the road as they bleed away into the ever rising ocean.

The ice locked up in the Arctic and Antarctic is calving off at an ever increasing rate and this will also add to the volume.

One thing not mentioned yet, and this will have a HUGE impact:
As the ocean warms up over time, all that water is going to take up more space. One of the properties of water is that it expands as it warms up.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 08:11 PM
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I'd hasten to add that it isn't merely the water temp that is affecting fish population.
When I was growing up, the Grand Banks had a 7 mile limit that had been extended to 200 miles. I'm not sure how many of you are aware of 2 islands off the Russian coast called Noveya Zemlya. Russia had used these islands as their nuclear waste dump ... scuttling reactors, dumping barrels of radio-active waste that when refused to sink, they shot holes into them. The currents bring these down across Canada's eastern seaboard and merely a spec of plutonium can kill.
Another incident, 500 miles off the coast of Norway, a russian sub went down (komsomolets) and had on board 2 nuclear weapons that contained 14 kilograms of plutonium. Scientists had predicted them leaking within a matter of years and that was over 10 years ago as I recall.
We also have chemical dumps in the ocean, both America and Britain (and who knows who else did) had dumped vast quantities of old stockpiles.

... just my $0.02



posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 09:22 AM
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I guess the answer is: "We don´t know for sure". The European Space Agency satellite CryoSat, due to be launched in the next year, may give us some more definitive answer. Here´s a fresh article from BBC.


BBC: Antarctic buffers sea level rise

The ice sheet covering the interior of Antarctica is thickening, researchers report in the journal Science. This bulge, which was recorded by satellite, may temporarily buffer rising sea levels, they believe.

However, the scientists worry the overall mass of the Antarctic may be decreasing because ice near the coasts is melting, possibly at a greater rate.

Snowfall over East Antarctica will not continue to increase indefinitely in a warming world but, conversely, ice melt will accelerate proportionately with every degree of rising temperature, swelling oceans further. "The effect will only work for a finite period of time," Professor Davis said. "Eventually, the snow will start to melt." Also, the overall mass of Antarctica may be decreasing, because coastal melt may be happening faster than internal ice sheet gain. "Since sea levels are rising, that would be a reasonable assumption to make, although we don't know for sure," added Professor Davis.

"Over the next few years we should get a more definitive answer."

Click the link to read the full article...



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