The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters. The authors suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice loss from Earth's mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise.
Ross Ice Shelf - Some ObservationsThe Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf in the world with an area of roughly 182,000 square miles - 472,000 square kilometers. The shelf was named after Captain James Clark Ross who discovered it January 28th, 1841.
The coast to which the ice shelf is attached reaches nearer to the south geographic pole than any other part of Antarctica's coast.
Image source: NASA/MODIS Antarctic mosaic.
A Census of Marine Life expedition discovered a new character for the Mr. Men and Little Miss series - "Mr. Blobby," the fathead sculpin fish, lives in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans at depths of between about 330 feet (100 meters) and 9,200 feet (2,800 meters), according to National Geographic.
A group of researchers say receding glaciers due to global warming at the end of the last ice age, 20,000-100,000 years ago, resulted in the rampant biodiversity left behind in their wake.
Certainly it is true there is much less biodiversity at the poles, though likely there are limits in how hot we want the planet to be.
Investigating fossil clams and snails Steffen Kiel and Sven Nielsen at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) say retreating glaciers created a mosaic landscape of countless islands, bays and fiords in which new species developed rapidly, geologically speaking.
We are a water planet but 10% of Earth is covered in ice - ice that is melting in ways that have to be a concern.
To get a handy view of what is happening in the big areas, Greenland, the Arctic and the Antarctic, NASA have put together a Global Ice Viewer
You can zoom in on Ilulissat Glacier, which is is depositing icebergs in cubic kilometer denominations equivalent to 9.3 trillion gallons per year - if that sounds like 14 million Olympic-sized swimming pools every 365 days, it is. Or Antarctica, where ice shelves the size of small U.S. states have collapsed in recent years.
The huge ice island which calved from Petermann Glacier on August 4th was stuck in the mouth of Petermann Fjord for quite some time. As I had suggested, it did not get into Nares Strait as a single ice island. It broke into two main parts: Petermann 2010-A and Petermann 2010-B
Petermann Ice Island 2010-B
Petermann Ice Island - Now There Are two
Petermann Ice Island (2010) has now broken into two parts. The smaller island is about 80 km2. It is the thinner of the two and is likely to melt away first. Based on the labels already in use in comments1
, I shall designate the larger island as Petermann 2010-A and the smaller one as Petermann 2010-B.Petermann Ice Islands A and B
image source: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/images/MODIS/Kennedy/201009091609.ASAR.jpg