Posted by: JohnnyRook | February 18, 2009

Alert: Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapses According to Spanish Scienitists

This story is very tentative at this point, but I did want to point out to Climaticide Chronicles readers that Spanish researchers are reporting the breakup of 16,000 km2 of the Wilkins Ice Shelf. That would be most of the shelf.

Ina much anticipated event [in Spanish] a some 14,000 square kilometers–a surface area equal to the Basque Country (can’t we have a universal standard of comparison instead of each nation using some region that’s only meaningful to it’s citizens?), of the Wilkins Ice Sheet has disintegrated and broken up into smaller pieces, some of them glaciers 200 meters high.

The enormous icebergs into which the ice shelf has broken have begun, to flow out into the Antarctic Ocean, according to the researchers from Council for Advanced Research (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas– CSIC) whose oceanographic research vessel Hespérides finds itself in the area.

I will update as more information comes in.

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Responses

  1. I predicted Valentine’s Day. Who’s keeping the pool?

  2. The daily shots from the ESA Webcamdon’t show much change so I am wondering what the story means. One of the stories under Google News had an image relating to an earlier collapse event of last year.

  3. And what do you make of this (in its own merits and in relation to the Spanish report)?

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Antarctic+melt+could+shift+Earth+rotation+Study/1261393/story.html

  4. Here is the Wilkins Ice shelf news – it is interesting that they have a twitter page too, but I did not see any activity.

    from http://nsidc.org/news/press/wilkins/index.html
    Daily Images of the Wilkins Ice Shelf

    At the height of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, many people have been curious whether the small strip of ice connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf to Charcot Island will collapse. The European Space Association (ESA) is now posting daily images acquired by Envisat’s Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR). Visit the ESA ‘Web cam’ from Space Web page at http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMWZS5DHNF_index_0.html.

    When conditions are clear, NSIDC also posts images of the Wilkins Ice Shelf from the NASA MODIS satellite. To access images, see the NSIDC Images of Antarctic Ice Shelves: Wilkins Ice Shelf Web page.
    http://nsidc.org/data/iceshelves_images/wilkins.html

  5. [...] Obama by Joining Daily Kos Environmentalists. At his own blog, the final post appeared February 18: Alert: Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapses According to Spanish Scienitists. He said he would update when he received more information. He never got the [...]

  6. So long, Steven. I didn’t even know you were sick. I wondered why I hadn’t seen any new posts in my reader, and then read Meteor Blades’ post today at the Kos.

    Dying with hope… Now there’s a thought. I think of all the people I know who’ve died in the last few years, who didn’t get to see Obama elected, and I think how awful to have died without that hope…

    And to hear that your son has taken up the cause… tears me up to think about his pain, when the 9th anniversary of my Dad’s death just passed… damn throat lump… I know my son is a good kid and will do his best to help people in this world, to stand up for what is right, and that thought gives me courage to face anything, the daily pain of my non-terminal illness…

    You’ll be missed, man, but you did some good. You stood up and said what needed to be said, and you taught a lot of us that even in death, we can make a difference…

    My condolences to your family. I’m sure they are proud of you.

  7. than you for this valuable information. There is nothing like a great teacher. Yours is a well-lived life.

    Your student

  8. For Toby Butterfield: the Vancouver newspaper is talking about the entire West Antarctic in that story; compare: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WilkinsIceSheet/images/wilkins_avh_2007.jpg

    The ESA “webcam” shows loss of more sea ice along Lalady Island, but as of their last image the ridge is still there; once that goes it removes an anchor for the Wilkins, allowing that to begin to move and so break apart. Hasn’t happened yet.

    For Steven’s family, thank you for sharing him.
    I watch developments along the north side of the Olympic Peninsula; didn’t know Steven til after I read that he’d died, wish I had.

  9. [...] Obama by Joining Daily Kos Environmentalists. At his own blog, the final post appeared February 18: Alert: Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapses According to Spanish Scienitists. He said he would update when he received more information. He never got the [...]

  10. [...] Obama by Joining Daily Kos Environmentalists. At his own blog, the final post appeared February 18: Alert: Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapses According to Spanish Scienitists. He said he would update when he received more information. He never got the [...]

  11. [...] most recent post, no doubt a great struggle to write, has some breaking news: “Alert: Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapses According to Spanish Scientists.” As you can see he hasn’t been able to post much recently for reasons he explains in [...]


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