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Latest West Antarctica Stories

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2009-08-14 12:25:00

Experts say one of the largest glaciers in Antarctica is thinning four times faster than it was 10 years ago, BBC News reported. The surface of the ice at the Pine Island glacier in west Antarctica is now dropping at a rate of up to 50 feet a year, according to a recent study of satellite measurements. The work, by British scientists and published in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that the glacier has lowered by almost 300 feet since 1994, which has serious implications for sea-level...

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2009-05-05 10:38:55

Most comprehensive seabed image of Amundsen Sea Embayment Motorway-sized troughs and channels carved into Antarctica's continental shelves by glaciers thousands of years ago could help scientists to predict future sea-level rise according to a report in the journal Geology this month (May). Using sonar technology from onboard ships, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) captured the most extensive, continuous set of images of the seafloor...

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2009-04-28 14:19:32

The European Space Agency says satellite images show icebergs have begun to calve from the northern front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica. ESA scientists said the images indicate the huge shelf has become unstable following the collapse three weeks ago of the ice bridge that linked the Antarctic mainland with Charcot Island. That ice bridge, said the ESA, effectively formed a barrier pinning back the northern ice front of the central Wilkins Ice Shelf. It collapsed April 5, removing...

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2009-04-03 07:05:00

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is at risk of partly breaking away from the Antarctic Peninsula as the ice bridge that connects it to Charcot and Latady Islands looks set to collapse. The beginning of what appears to be the demise of the ice bridge began this week when new rifts forming along its centre axis resulted in a large block of ice breaking away. The Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) images acquired on 2 April by ESA's Envisat satellite confirm that the rifts are quickly expanding...

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2009-03-17 16:27:25

A robot submarine studying the underbelly of an Antarctic ice shelf has found evidence of rising sea levels, scientists reported on Tuesday. Developed by UK's National Oceanography Center of Southampton, Autosub is an Automated Underwater Vehicle (AUV). It has completed six missions traveling under Pine Island Glacier, an extension of the West Antarctic ice sheet in the Amundsen Sea. The sub uses sonar to create a three-dimensional map of the seabed and the underside of the ice. Scientists...

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2009-01-19 15:15:00

A large ice shelf is near collapse in Antarctica, held together only by a small strip of ice as global warming continues to alter the map of the frozen continent. "We've come to the Wilkins Ice Shelf to see its final death throes," glaciologist David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) told Reuters after his red Twin Otter plane landed near the shelf's narrowest section. "It really could go at any minute," he said, adding that the ice bridge could linger weeks or months. The large,...

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2009-01-16 09:20:00

Increased rainfall on the Antarctic Peninsula is rapidly melting glaciers like the Sheldon, which has recoiled 1.2 miles in 20 years and is raising world sea levels, a leading expert announced."Rain is very corrosive to glaciers and at least in part the reason this glacier is retreating," said David Vaughan, a British Antarctic Survey glaciologist."The glacier has retreated since 1989 and left this open water. That's the same pattern for 87 percent of 400 glaciers along the Antarctic...

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2009-01-07 15:10:00

In an effort to seek clues to world ocean level rises in one of the most inaccessible places on earth, scientists are sending a yellow robot submarine to dive under an ice shelf in Antarctica. A U.S. research vessel will launch the 22 ft submarine to probe the underside of the ice at the end of the Pine Island glacier, which is moving faster than any other in Antarctica and already brings more water to the oceans than Europe's Rhine River. Large icebergs have been breaking off Antarctica's...

2008-12-31 11:59:08

British scientists plan to use a yellow submarine to explore beneath a giant melting Antarctic glacier whose collapse could raise sea levels 4 inches. The scientists hope to find out why Pine Island Glacier, flowing west-northwest along the south side of the Hudson Mountains into Pine Island Bay, Amundsen Sea, is melting so quickly at its base, said the British Antarctic Survey, Britain's national Antarctic operator. The 23-foot-long, robotic yellow submarine, nicknamed Autosub, will map out...

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2008-10-17 08:20:00

Scientists from University of Edinburgh and the British Antarctic Survey said Thursday they will visit a vulnerable area of the Antarctic shelf later this year to determine if it might break apart and trigger a rise in sea levels in the coming years. The team will drill into the ice and use radars on the Larsen C ice shelf, located on the Antarctic peninsula nearest South America. In 1995, Larsen A, a chunk of the shelf, broke off. Another part, Larsen B, broke away in 2002. The remaining...


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.