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Zenolith

Ice shelf collapsed

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This is not a troll for a debate. Just thought people who are interested in glaciers might find this interesting.

 

Giant glacier falls into ocean near New Zealand

 

Friday, May 10, 2002

By Chris Baltimore, Reuters

 

WASHINGTON ? A huge ice shelf 10 times bigger than Manhattan has plummeted into the sea near New Zealand, U.S. government scientists said Thursday, adding urgency to warnings that global temperatures are rising for the worse.

 

The news follows the March collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica in the Weddell Sea near Chile ? which was the size of a small European country.

 

The collapse on the Ross ice shelf in the Ross Sea near the Pacific Ocean and New Zealand is about 41 nautical miles long and 4 nautical miles wide.

 

It was spotted by the National Ice Center in Suitland, Md., which analyzed infrared photos taken May 5 by a military satellite. The collapse likely occurred over the last two weeks, a spokesman for the center said.

 

The Ice Center gathers data for the U.S. Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Coast Guard.

 

The collapse is a result of so-called calving, as constant motion by polar ice caps fractures the ice into sometimes-large fragments that float loose into the sea.

 

Green groups pointed to the ice shelf collapses as evidence that emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global temperatures to rise and the polar ice caps to melt.

 

For meteorological reasons, glaciers are one of the first indicators of rising planetary temperatures, said Kalee Kreider, a global warming expert at the National Environmental Trust. "They're a canary in the coal mine for the global warming trend," Kreider said.

 

Carbon emissions from power plants and factories have been linked to global warming, which scientists warn could lead to massive flooding and rising ocean levels. The United States is the world's largest emitter of so-called greenhouse gases.

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Like clever monkeys we've outsmarted ourselves and now we're filled with dread.

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Hey Z. Always happy to engage....

 

Are you saying that you now support more CO2-free power production? Good! Lets get to building more nuke plants. ... and more hydro projects too.

 

Also; the Global Surveyor spacecraft now orbiting Mars has sent back data indicating that planet's icecaps are also in retreat. www.nature.com/nsu/011213/011213-1.html

Shall we accept the blame for that too? Could a solar cycle be at work here?

 

Earth's climate is in constant flux. We're just ridin' the wave. (?)

 

But wait! YOU might be right. (Seriously) How much $$$$$ should we spend to counter? How much freedom should we sacrifice? If our nation spends say, one trillion dollars on Kyoto-like deals and our economy collapses, will current environmental safeguards get thrown out the window so we can claw our way back to national economic viability? Will democracy survive? (do environmentalists care?)

 

I'm not trying to hammer or mock you, but these issues aren't as simple as some would like them to be.

 

[ 05-12-2002, 11:59 PM: Message edited by: Fairweather ]

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Facts are facts. We should be careful not to ignore facts at the sake of not liking them, or their implications.

Fact: A ibg chunk of ice fell off an Antarctic ice shelf.

Fact: Global warming has been happeing for several thousand years. Just look at any 14,000 year old moraine in the Cascades, sierras, rockies, Andes, etc to see this.

Fact: The trend in global warming increases above the baseline level of increase proportional to industrialization starting around the 1860's (think coal factories).

 

Speculation: this will lead to the collapse of democracy and our consumer-driven service economy.

 

Speculation: If we cease all greehouse as production, everything will be okay. We are still cutting down CO2 sinks (aka rain forest, etc...) at an alarming rate.

 

Speculation: environmentalism is a plot to remove your freedoms.

 

The martian ice caps fluctuate on a yearly basis. 50% of the atmosperic CO2 sublimates between dry ice at the cap and gas phase as spring and fall come and go. This is detectable by changes in atmospheric pressure at the surface in addition to global surveyor data. Apples and Oranges.

 

Spray on...

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Dry weather has been blamed for the glaciar's loss of ice in NZ: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=585&ncid=753&e=5&u=/nm/20020513/sc_nm/environment_newzealand_glacier_dc_1

But things are heating up in the world (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=585&ncid=753&e=1&u=/nm/20020513/sc_nm/environment_climate_dc_1) unless they're cooling down (record low temps in Antarctica have been blamed on global warming and its effects on the stratosphere).

Ride a bike.

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freeclimb (and others):

 

don't confuse glaciers (and thier behaviour/what makes them go away) with ice shelves.

glaciers are formed by the accumulation of snow on land in regions where there is snow/ice cover year round. they can be depleted by either by warmer temperatures (snow melts) and/or a decrease in precipitation (less snow accumulates)

ice shelves (such as the one that just split off the Ross Ice Shelf) are frozen sea water and their existence does not depend on precip rates.

 

the lowering temps in central antarctica are not evidence that anthropogenic greenhouse gases aren't causing a GLOBAL warming. in fact, the models predict this. because of a change in atmospheric dynamics and because of the differing effect greenhouse gases have on the lower atmosphere (warming) versus the stratosphere (cooling) we expect that the main/central part of antarctica will cool, at least initially. the coastal regions on the other hand are expected to warm. both of these temperature trends are being seen. the breakoff of the ice shelf is consistent with the warmer coastal temperatures.

 

like you said: ride your bike...

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quote:

Originally posted by sayjay:

freeclimb (and others):

 

don't confuse glaciers (and thier behaviour/what makes them go away) with ice shelves.

glaciers are formed by the accumulation of snow on land in regions where there is snow/ice cover year round. they can be depleted by either by warmer temperatures (snow melts) and/or a decrease in precipitation (less snow accumulates)

 


true

 

quote:

ice shelves (such as the one that just split off the Ross Ice Shelf) are frozen sea water

not true.

 

The ice shelves are glacial ice that has extended out into the ocean and past the grounding line. Ice shelves are hundreds of meters thick. Frozen sea water forms sea ice which is around 2 meters thick at most.

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Sayjay,

actually, after reading the original post, I was confused. I responded about another event in New Zealand, not in the truly deep south. Neither event has been linked to global warming. The antarctic shelf calving has not been linked to climate change ( http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020511/wl_india_nm/india_72188_30 ). And I know the difference between a glaciar and an ice shelf (it's like land versus sea. whoa.) But I don't discount legitimate global warming observations. The arctic sea is suffering and may very well lack year-round sea-ice within our lifetimes.

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According to the rules of the sticker thing, trucks are exempt from stickering. Only supermarket betties with troop transports are at risk of being tagged.

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quote:

Originally posted by Bronco:

What's so unusual about this calving?


it is bigger than usual, hence it is unusual. [big Grin]

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freeclimb:

i agree that we can't link this specific event to global warming -- nor can we link the record high temps in any given month, or the change in some species' habitat, or any one of a myriad of other events definitively to global warming.

however, the calving of this large of an ice sheet is consistent with what we would expect with global warming and adds to the body of evidence pointing in the direction of a rapidly changing climate.

 

fern: thanks for the correction -- guess that's why i usually stick to the atmosphere [Frown]

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quote:

Originally posted by iain:

According to the rules of the sticker thing, trucks are exempt from stickering. Only supermarket betties with troop transports are at risk of being tagged.

Yeah, I guess it sounds like fun but, still kind of cowardly. If you feel that strongly, why not try to talk to them or leave a nice note about the virtues of not causing glaciers to calve and the poor people of Monroe having snow on Monday and 85 degree temp on Sunday. [Roll Eyes]

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Dick Gephart (D) gave an environmental speech about 3 months ago in which he chided the Republicans for their lack of support re: tougher CAFE standards. He then drove off in a large black Chevy Suburban.

 

As for the stickering....what a bunch of knit hat, whispy bearded, skinny, sandal wearing, WTO protesting, dreadlocked, freaks. The vehicles they are stickering probably pump less soot and hydrocarbons into the atmosphere than the VW Microbus or 1973 Subaru that they themselves drive.

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F8, thanks for the link. There was an article in last weeks Stranger (Seattle) about some local guys that are doing the bumper stickering. GOOD HUNTING!!!

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I thought it was considered normal for Glaciers to move in a downward direction.

 

What's so unusual about this calving?

 

Any of you mofo's put a sticker on my truck be prepared to have it stuck up your nose! [Mad]

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