Antarctic ice sheet 'thinning'
March 30, 2007 3:19am CST
This discussion may not rate very highly in people's interest, but to us, in Australia, it is very important, as it should be to you all."A PIECE of the Antarctic ice sheet the size of Texas is thinning, possibly due to global warming, and could cause the world's oceans to rise significantly, polar ice experts say. They said "surprisingly rapid changes" were occurring in Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, which faces the southern Pacific Ocean, but that more study was needed to know how fast it was melting and how much it could cause the sea level to rise. The warning came in a joint statement issued at the end of a conference of US and European polar ice experts at the University of Texas in Austin. The scientists blamed the melting ice on changing winds around Antarctica that they said were causing warmer waters to flow beneath ice shelves. The wind change appeared to be the result of several factors, including global warming, ozone depletion in the atmosphere and natural variability. The thinning in the 3.2km- thick ice shelf was being observed mostly from satellites, but it was not known how much ice had been lost because data was difficult to obtain on the remote ice shelves, they said. Study was focusing on the Amundsen Sea Embayment because it had been melting quickly and held enough water to raise world sea levels 6m, the scientists said. "The place where the biggest change is occurring is the Amundsen Sea Embayment," said Donald Blankenship of the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. "One, it's changing, and two, it can have a big impact," he said in a webcast with a number of conference participants. Other parts of the continent also were losing ice, he said, but generally not as quickly."Do you realise what the effects will be on Australia? Consider our huge coastline, & where 90% of our people live. http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,21469179-912,00.html
30 Mar 07
6m??? couldnt get worse than this. I lived in country thats 7000+ islands. We've historical evidences that there really were islands that went under during the last decade. Stories like these just scares too much of us & too deep to understand that the general populace would rather turn an eye. I know something postive can be contributed by any individual, but the discpline to be consistent is one big issue in itself. Come damning events like the Indonesian Tsunami that happened 3 years ago, not much has been done to have a sustaining actions. This issues are largely in the hands of our leaders to have a dramatic impact. Otherwise a looming sense of doom is just enivitable. Thanks for sharing this with us.
31 Mar 07
one and all should appreciate your concern regarding global warmimng and its consequences. Today only I have read an article in 'Times Of India' which has detailed into this melting of Ice of the size Texas. I have also read that ice in Arctic and Antartctic are also in the verge of that kind danger as a result flora and fauna of those places will have nowhere to go and will become extinct.For example Polar Bear are in graet danger. One Flora and Fauna get disturbed the whole earth will be disbalanced,sea level will rise and what not! Most of us know these consequences but do not ponder much. Here I will share with everybody that few of our steps may slow global warming if not stop it.So Please follow these simple steps: - Minimum use of Microwave Oven with emits maximum CarbonDioxide - Also pl. use of other ovens,toaster etc. should be kept at minimum. - conserve water as much as possible in your house. -use bicycle to the extent possible instead of fuel run vehicles. -minimum use of bio-Nondegradable sustances These are few things everybody knows but we generally do not think in these line.
31 Mar 07
There is some fear-mongering in the report.It does appear that the ice fields in the Antarctic(and the Arctic) have decreased in depth and size,but ALL of it would have to melt for such a major increase in sea level to occur.There is no doubt we are destroying our planet,but the global warning will be going on while we become extinct.
• United States
30 Mar 07
I know our planet is having difficulties keeping up with our massive human doings. The smart ones will find higher ground to have somewhere to go to. Not sure if we can halt the changes and save the wildlife that is suffering on our behalf at the moment. I have often wondered why so many chose to live where nature could easily wipe them out. Good luck to you and yours and hope that nothing happens to you.
30 Mar 07
yes, jenny, indeed in this industralized world even a slightest raise in temperature might be detrimental and especially the coastal cities are at higher risk. indeed i know that the ice at antartica is melting fast due to global warming, but it is sad to know that still some people think global warming as a myth.