Watching the Birth of an Iceberg
After discovering an emerging crack that cuts across the floating ice shelf of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica, NASA's Operation...
Antarctic ice shelf rift: Pine Island Glacier Last Updated on 2011-11-05 00:00:00
Watching the Birth of an Iceberg
After discovering an emerging crack that cuts across the floating ice shelf of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica, NASA's Operation IceBridge flew a follow-up mission and made the first-ever detailed airborne measurements of a major iceberg calving in progress. NASA's Operation Ice Bridge, the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown, is in the midst of its third field campaign from Punta Arenas, Chile. The six-year mission will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice.
Pine Island Glacier last calved a significant iceberg in 2001, and some scientists have speculated recently that it was primed to calve again. But until an Oct. 14 IceBridge flight of NASA's DC-8, no one had seen any evidence of the ice shelf beginning to break apart. Since then, a... More »
Abbot Ice Shelf, AntarcticaLast Updated on 2011-05-25 00:00:00
The Abbot Ice Shelf is a is a thick slab of ice, attached to West Antarctica's central coast and extending out over the ocean as a seaward extension of the grounded Antarctic Ice Sheet. This ice shelf is one of 47 named Antarctic Ice Shelves.
The Abbott Ice Shelf occurs at the junction of the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas. This ice shelf extends an east-west distance of about 250 to 400 kilometers (km) and exhibits a characteristic width of 65 km; this ice shelf is supported by several islands, most significantly, Thurston Island, which provide inherent structural integrity to the Abbot Ice Shelf. Conflicting sources attribute various east-west extents of the Abbot Ice Shelf, from values of 250 to 400 km, presumably due to the definition of the eastern limit.
USGS Geographic Names Information Service
According to the USGS, the Abbot Ice Shelf is 400 km long... More »
Earth's Changing Ice CoverLast Updated on 2011-03-11 00:00:00
This article, written by Charles W. Schmidt, a freelance writer specializing in science, medicine and technology, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth.
Out of Equilibrium?
The World's Changing Ice Cover
In August 2010 an iceberg four times the size of Manhattan broke off Greenland’s northwestern coast and began drifting out to the sea. At nearly 100 square miles, this was the largest iceberg to appear in Arctic waters since 1962 and a fresh indicator that Greenland’s frozen landscape is... More »
Video: AAAS Global Climate-Change Video - CLEANLast Updated on 2011-02-17 00:00:00
This video has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN Collection.
Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska, and experts like John Holdren, exploring the human impacts of global climate change.
GlacierLast Updated on 2010-05-08 03:07:36
Introduction to Glaciation
Various types of paleoclimatic evidence suggest that the climate of the Earth has varied over time. The data suggest that during most of the Earth's history, global temperatures were probably 8 to 15° Celsius warmer than they are today. However, there were periods of times when the Earth's average global temperature became cold; cold enough for the formation of alpine glaciers and continental glaciers that extended in to the higher, middle and sometimes lower latitudes. In the last billion years of Earth's history, glacial periods have started at roughly 925, 800, 680, 450, 330, and 2 million years before present (B.P.). Of these ice ages, the most severe occurred at 800 million years ago when glaciers came within 5 degrees of the equator.
The last major glacial period began about 2,000,000... More »
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