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Human-caused global warming was responsible for the collapse of
an Antarctic ice shelf in 2002, scientists said today.
Changing weather patterns, a consequence of global warming, has
caused stronger westerly winds to blow warm air from the middle
latitudes to the Antarctic Peninsula.
These winds are responsible for the summer warming that led to
the collapse of the 1,255 square-mile northern Larsen B Ice shelf,
the researchers note in this week’s Journal of Climate.
In the past 40 years, the average summer temperatures in the
area have been around 36 degree Fahrenheit. However, on days
when westerly winds force heated air over the ice-covered penin-
sula's mountain ranges, temperatures could reach 45 degrees
Such conditions melted the ice, causing water to creep into the
crevasses of the ice shelf, and eventually broke it apart.