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Antarctic Ice Bridge Finally Breaks Off

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the invest-in-arizona-beaches dept.

Earth 505

GreennMann writes "An ice bridge linking a shelf of ice the size of Jamaica to two islands in Antarctica has snapped. Scientists say the collapse could mean the Wilkins Ice Shelf is on the brink of breaking away, and provides further evidence of rapid change in the region. Sited on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Wilkins shelf has been retreating since the 1990s. Researchers regarded the ice bridge as an important barrier, holding the remnant shelf structure in place. Its removal will allow ice to move more freely between Charcot and Latady islands, into the open ocean."

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Well, (5, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472353)

that's certainly one way to break the ice in a tense situation like this.

The Ice Bridge's Twit (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472469)

OMG!!! I'm off to the oceans!!! Otherwise boring day *sight*

Re:The Ice Bridge's Twit (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472583)

Otherwise boring day *sight*

Were you intending to indicate that you've sighted the floating ice bridge already? Outstanding! That damn thing must be riding on the Outer-Gotta-Get-North-Quick Current.

Re:The Ice Bridge's Twit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472627)

That was its twit.

Jihaaaaaad!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472971)

First, those damn Persians and their bumb, then Kim Il Jr and his rocket, and now, this. Armageddon is upon us!! FEAR GOD !! The time is FAST APPROACHING !!

Eat at Dina's !! Great food at a great price for the coming Apocalypse !!

Re:Well, (1)

uberjack (1311219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472651)

Why not just drop a big block of ice into the ocean every now and then?

Not that it matters ... (-1, Flamebait)

robpoe (578975) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472355)

So what? It hasn't been there forever. See, there's a natural progression on the planet. Warm. Cold. Warm. Cold. It's warming up, BFD.

Now, I'm gunna drive my SUV 65 miles to work tomorrow and feel ok about it.

Re:Not that it matters ... (5, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472365)

Now, I'm gunna drive my SUV 65 miles to work tomorrow and feel ok about it.

You may feel okay about it, but I feel bad for your gas card :).

Re:Not that it matters ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472927)

Who gives a shit what it costs? I'm rich, motherfucker! What are you, some kind of poor person? Fucking useless low income fucks, you should all die unloved and alone for taking MY resources.

Re:Not that it matters ... (-1, Flamebait)

robpoe (578975) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472381)

Oh, and a few inches (or feet) of ocean won't bother me. I have no beach property, nor do I intend to. Last I checked, I'm about 950 feet above sea level..

Re:Not that it matters ... (3, Informative)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472439)

Oh, and a few inches (or feet) of ocean won't bother me. I have no beach property, nor do I intend to. Last I checked, I'm about 950 feet above sea level..

From the FA: "While the break-up will have no direct impact on sea level because the ice is floating"....

Re:Not that it matters ... (5, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472677)

Now you've gone and ruined his nefarious plot to continuously drive his SUV until he's the proud new owner of oceanside property. In these uncertain economic times, how else is a fella supposed to increase his property value? Huh? Huh? Bastard.

Re:Not that it matters ... (3, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472691)

    Not to argue the point, because it's always a holy war with folks, but there's some logistics to that, which you failed to see.

    If the seas rise by 10 to 20 feet at the coastlines, coastal areas will flood. That means the ports will be under water, and nothing will come in by sea. International imports will be severely hampered. Pretty much, if you can't bring it in by plane, it won't happen.

    If coastal areas flood, major highways, bridges, and train tracks will become unusable.

    People will migrate from the flooded areas to higher ground (like, your 900 feet up), but food supplies will be very limited, and transportation will be very difficult without oil coming into the country.

    So, even people living on high ground that won't be flooded will be affected.

Re:Not that it matters ... (3, Insightful)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472731)

Yes, because we have lost the technology to build ports...

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472867)

... or eat corn grown domestically.

That being said. 20 feet rise in sea levels and out boss will need to find a new office buidling.

Re:Not that it matters ... (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472923)

The building of new ports takes years. They aren't something you can just knock up in a day.

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473037)

and the seas will rise faster than the planning permission beuracracy can work its magic?

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473123)

The rising of sea levels of 10 feet will take years. Centuries even.

Re:Not that it matters ... (4, Funny)

tezbobobo (879983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472955)

Sure - five years to build a port. Then start on the next for when that port is drowned.

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472809)

That means the ports will be under water, and nothing will come in by sea.

Sounds like an excellent opportunity for those in the business of building ports.

That might be true, but (4, Insightful)

varghan (834564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473027)

the country I live in, the Netherlands, has one fourth of the land below sealevel by as much as 48 feet already. I guess we can handle a few additional feet of water. More water spurs great engineering, and has done so since medieval times. That doesn't mean you can't leave your SUV at home and take your bicycle to work today, though.

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

McSnarf (676600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473065)

Now... If floating ice melts, how will this affect the water level? :)
(No liberal arts majors, please...)

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

thesupraman (179040) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473125)

Idiot, first you claim to want to avoid politics, then put a crazy political barrow...

The very most aggressive estimates of sea level rise over the next hundred years is in the order of 3 feet, the average is closer to a foot, and those figures are from strong global warming proponents.

Also note that the figures used to show ANY unexpected sea level rise are from satellite, whereas the ground based (and significantly more robust..) systems do not show the same data.. oops.

Of course global climate change proponents are also now saying that cooling in the Antarctic is 'expected' as part of global warming, which of course would result in sea levels drops - luckily either way the figures are not high.

Of course, dont go letting facts get in the way of your fear.

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472431)

So what? It hasn't been there forever. See, there's a natural progression on the planet. Warm. Cold. Warm. Cold. It's warming up, BFD. Now, I'm gunna drive my SUV 65 miles to work tomorrow and feel ok about it.

While you'll probably get +5 funny, your kids will one day give you -1 troll, my friend.

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472821)

I just had a conversation with my future children through my patent-pending Future Convo Iterator(TM), and they're actually pretty happy with the way society turned out. Of course, this is in light of major technological advances in completely unrelated areas... in other words, we're not going to destroy the frigging planet. Have some faith in humanity's relentless drive to outdo itself.

Re:Not that it matters ... (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472939)

That's the reason I'm fairly optimistic about that - humans as a race rarely solve any underlying problems but are very good at finding workarounds. So get ready to enjoy your hydrogen hummer!

Re:Not that it matters ... (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472891)

"See doc, there's a natural progression to blood pressure. High low high low. It's going up,BFD.

Now, I'm gunna eat this bag of potato chips and get a big mac and feel okay about it."

You have to love it how some people cling to the first rationalization that allows them to keep doing what they want, from the time they're kids right up to when they die.

Blame me (5, Funny)

DaHat (247651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472359)

Given my SUV driving has yet to save me in a crash (I've not had one since buying it)... I'm glad to see it has contributed to something productive at least.

Re:Blame me (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472977)

Given my SUV driving has yet to save me in a crash (I've not had one since buying it)...

Don't feel bad; maybe you've crashed multiple times against bikes and pedestrians and simply didn't notice.

SUVs are not safe. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472991)

http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_01_12_a_suv.html

further evidence or rapid change (-1, Offtopic)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472361)

s/or/of/

Slashdot, editors, not have.

This isn't the tip of the iceberg... (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472369)

Once the ice bridge falls away, scientists will find one pissed off ice troll.

Re:This isn't the tip of the iceberg... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472389)

He's already been found [worldofwarcraft.com] , and he's not happy.

Re:This isn't the tip of the iceberg... (3, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472417)

Maybe that ice troll's not happy because he's in the middle of a burning desert somewhere. Look at all the sand.

Re:This isn't the tip of the iceberg... (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472877)

Or make a giant margarita

Somewhere in the USA... (0)

dexmachina (1341273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472391)

"Quick! To the Gore-Mobile!"

Re:Somewhere in the USA... (1, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472429)

I'm waiting to see the live video footage of that scene where the poor sweet little baby polar bear is trapped on an ice floe which shrinks until he falls off to be eaten by sharks or some garbage like that *splash*

Re:Somewhere in the USA... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472443)

More likely to be eaten by killer whales, but hey, it's the circle of life, it's the wheel of fortune, it's the leap of faith, it's the band of hope.

Re:Somewhere in the USA... (4, Funny)

One Louder (595430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472495)

I'm waiting to see the live video footage of that scene where the poor sweet little baby polar bear is trapped on an ice floe which shrinks until he falls off to be eaten by sharks or some garbage like that *splash*

It would be quite remarkable to have video footage of polar bears in the Antarctic.

Re:Somewhere in the USA... (-1, Troll)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472609)

I think if these global warming... I mean global cooling... ah, climate change scientists would actually mention that now is the time of year where the ice recedes as it has been summer here in the southern hemisphere and as everyone knows ice melts in the sun. check out the ice in 6 months when it has all frozen over again.

Oh, and before you mod be down remeber this:

I have karma to burn. And when it burns it will melt all the ice and you will all drown in my climate change causing karma burning wild fire!!!!!

AH HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!

Re:Somewhere in the USA... (3, Informative)

scientus (1357317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472721)

This is it the season that it recedes. Its winter down there and only moving more into winter. Also, this shelf has been there for centuries, and now the whole thing is going to come unhinged.

Re:Somewhere in the USA... (2, Informative)

praksys (246544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472875)

Not so much. Winter is just starting in the southern hemisphere. The equinox was March 20 so in Antarctica the sun only went down a few weeks ago.

Re:Somewhere in the USA... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472901)

It would be quite remarkable to have video footage of polar bears in the Antarctic.

Go easy on him, FooAtWFU is a high school student from Wasilla, AK. He's special.

the main concern... (1)

skathe (1504519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472411)

Its removal will allow ice to move more freely between Charcot and Latady islands, into the open ocean.

This is cause for alarm if you're concerned about iceberg free shipping lanes, correct?

Re:the main concern... (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472437)

This is cause for alarm if you're concerned about iceberg free shipping lanes, correct?

Considering there's about zero [sciencemag.org] shipping lanes near Antarctica I'd say this doesn't rank up there on the priority list.

Re:the main concern... (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472463)

You presume that the ice will not float northwards into the shipping lanes. All that ice can travel a long ways before melting.

Re:the main concern... (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472519)

We've come a long(ish) way since the Titanic. We have, for example, RADAR which can see these things long before we smell the ice. I don't think ice in the shipping lanes is going to be a big issue, a minor annoyance perhaps.

Re:the main concern... (4, Funny)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472753)

Can we really discount the possibility of ice having stealth technology?

Re:the main concern... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473049)

no, the question is, can we risk it. i mean safety comes first. what if your gps, radar, radio AND your eyes all stop working a the same time as this million to one iceberg appears?!?! jesus people just take such big risks. think of the children.

Re:the main concern... (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473131)

Good point.
Ship captains might shrug it off with a "It's only an icebug, nothing to worry about" oblivious to the danger.

Sneaky bastards.

Re:the main concern... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472445)

GPS and satellite imagery tend to mitigate this type of issue. Fifty years ago it might have been cause for concern.

Re:the main concern... (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472467)

Yes, but that still requires you to go around them, boosting costs as they need to burn more fuel.

Re:the main concern... (2, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472477)

Slowing your rate of approach works just as well as speeding up to overtake or bypass an object. Speaking from naval experience here...

Re:the main concern... (5, Funny)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472661)

Speaking from naval experience here...

What does your bellybutton have to do with icebergs?

Re:the main concern... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472717)

There was this one time when I was on leave, and an old girlfriend of mine had this ice cube, oh wait... I probably shouldn't go into that...

Re:the main concern... (2, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473153)

oh wait... I probably shouldn't go into that...

That's what she said !

As I've Said Before (0, Troll)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472425)

If you really, really wanted to save the polar ice caps, you'd create a time machine and travel back..say, 19,000 years ago. Back when the polar ice cap extended down into what is modern day Illinois.

Which predates SUVs and industrialization by around...19,000 years or so.

That is one of the global warming metrics, right? Save the shrinking polar ice cap, right? You'd need to go back to a time when you can't blame humans. Even then, you'd have to go back yet again to the previous ice age, or any of the numerous ice ages.

So...at some point 20,000 to 30,000 years from now, someone's going to say ,"We've got to save the non-ice cap areas!"

Re:As I've Said Before (3, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472457)

You'd need to go back to a time when you can't blame humans.

I still blame Canada. They obviously failed to hold on to the ice caps when they had the chance.

Re:As I've Said Before (5, Funny)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472459)

If you really, really wanted to save the polar ice caps, you'd create a time machine and travel back..say, 19,000 years ago. Back when the polar ice cap extended down into what is modern day Illinois. Which predates SUVs and industrialization by around...19,000 years or so.

You could also increase the number of pirates [berkeley.edu] .

Re:As I've Said Before (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472521)

This isn't offtopic... The mods must not have known that global warming is inversely proportional to the number of pirates on the high seas.

Re:As I've Said Before (2)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472547)

yeah, I know. But my links was from Berkeley. Stanford mods.

Re:As I've Said Before (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472597)

So by your reasoning we Aussies should not be arresting arsonists who are responsible for starting about 1/3 of all our bushfires. We should let them continue with their bussiness as usual because we know that the other 2/3 of bushfires are started by natural causes.

BTW: This particular environmentalist doesn't care if you drive an SUV, a sherman tank, or a skateboard.

Re:As I've Said Before (1, Redundant)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472667)

If you really, really wanted to save the polar ice caps, you'd create a time machine and travel back..say, 19,000 years ago. Back when the polar ice cap extended down into what is modern day Illinois.

Which predates SUVs and industrialization by around...19,000 years or so.

Did I pull my gun? Yea.
Did I shoot? Yepp.
Did I shoot second time. Sure!
Did I kill him? No!

I mean, come on, average life expectancy is 66 years, and he was over 70, that's waaay long before I bought this gun.

So, am I free to go now?

Re:As I've Said Before (2, Insightful)

Beriaru (954082) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472853)

We actively change our environment to our benefit. We light the night, warm our houses, deforest our countries, mine our resources...

The argument of "it's natural" is stupid. If it's natural, modify nature. We are constantly doing it.
Why? Because this change does NOT benefit us.
So, nature doesn't want to change (or we don't know how to coerce her)?
Well, at least don't help the change!

Re:As I've Said Before (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472921)

That is one of the global warming metrics, right? Save the shrinking polar ice cap, right?

Yes, you nailed it right on the head, it's all "ice melting = bad," no one has taken any nuance into consideration. You've singlehandedly bested every climatologist/whatever they call themselves.

Whew, no problem then (4, Insightful)

ryanov (193048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472491)

Thank god we have the average mook on Slashdot or I might have thought this were cause for concern. I guess all of the scientists who have agreed that there are man-made effects on climate are completely incorrect, but this website is the last bastion of sanity?

Re:Whew, no problem then (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472565)

Most scientists agree that humans have contributed a small change to the climate, but all agree that the majority of the change is due to natural cycles (solar, long term atmospheric fluctuations etc). The only people claiming that humans are the sole or majority cause of climate warming/change are involved in politics, vote gathering, and selling 'technology' concepts to 'save the planet' in order to bilk the public out of money.

Re:Whew, no problem then (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472715)

The intellectual coward has it the wrong way around. The "It's natural" red-herring is stage two of the standard psudeo-skeptical denial that comes when they can no longer deny the globe is warming to a particular audience. The next stages include, "it's good for us", "economic armageden" and "god wouldn't allow it to happen".

Re:Whew, no problem then (1, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473001)

Then you come to the realization that global warming is going to happen no matter how bad it is, because there is no way the world will come together and do what's necessary to reduce the carbon dioxide output enough to make a difference. Even if you think your country would, others wouldn't.

So, sit back and enjoy the show! It gonna be exciting! Or maybe it won't. But either way, we're going to find out.

Re:Whew, no problem then (1)

verloren (523497) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473051)

And then, of course, there's the final stage - "Well it's too late to do anything about it now, if only scientists had warned us sooner".

Re:Whew, no problem then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27473097)

different coward here: to my knowledge southern hemispheric warming occurs during an ice age. discuss.

Re:Whew, no problem then (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472775)

[citation needed]

Re:Whew, no problem then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472577)

You want to discuss this seriously? You must be new here.

Judging by the response so far, I'm detecting nervous laughter all around.

Re:Whew, no problem then (0, Troll)

Taikutusu (1479335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472725)

Because it's been proven. Beyond all shadow of a doubt. Yep, all those scientists that disagree, we'll just sweep them under a rug.

Re:Whew, no problem then (4, Insightful)

biscuitlover (1306893) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472985)

All those scientists that disagree? Sure, there's some disagreement, but we're talking about a very small percentage of scientists here.

The fact that a lot of people are happy to selectively discount a clear majority of scientific opinion worldwide because it doesn't fit in with their world view or political standpoint never ceases to amaze me.

Re:Whew, no problem then (5, Insightful)

Mark Hood (1630) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473185)

Someone once brought this home to me quite nicely - he said if 9 out of 10 doctors said your child had appendicitis, and only 1 said it was trapped gas, would you go home and 'wait and see'?
Even if you were nervous about the risks of an operation, the risks of ignoring it are much worse - if it turns out to be appendicitis.

Sure, it might be nothing, just like global warming might not be our fault, but would you take the chance?

Mark

Re:Whew, no problem then (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473129)

"Yep, all those scientists that disagree, we'll just sweep them under a rug."

Get back to us when you have looked under the rug and asked one for their name, hypothisis and evidence. Don't forget to check the couch there could be a couple hiding there as well.

Re:Whew, no problem then (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473139)

This is strange... In every climate change report I have seen, people talk about the antarctic region as an anomaly (contrary to most of the globe's surface, temperatures are decreasing there). So how does this fit ? I first thought it was about the arctic region, which has seen quite some change these years, but the antarctic region ? Isn't it caused by some sort of tectonic activity like another poster suggested ?

Jeez (0, Offtopic)

Haiyadragon (770036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472545)

How convenient.

We got ice (0, Offtopic)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472573)

So... who's bringing the gin? Vodka is cool, too.

And lemon. Mustn't forget the lemon.

Re:We got ice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472747)

Sounds like a girl drink.

Re:We got ice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472975)

One of the interesting phenomena that has engaged our modern culture is the idea that being stupid is cool. Homer Simpson, Beavis and Butthead, etc.

The point where this idea becomes troublesome is when it's unclear if someone pretending to be stupid is attempting ironic humor, or if they're actually just stupid.

Lucky it was a clean break (0, Offtopic)

Centurix (249778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472589)

The last thing we needed was a pinch at the end, then we'll be wiping for the next 100 years.

Re:Lucky it was a clean break (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472931)

You know, they say it was a clean break, but I think they're going to have a few rebound flings before calling it quits for reals.

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472673)

Antarctic Ice Bridge Finally Breaks Off

Yes, finally ! That ice bridge had it coming, acting so cool when it's just like everyone else.

Stupid ice bridge.

Good, the oceans were getting warm.... (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472679)

...a few more really big ice cubes floating around should help a great deal.

oh, and as the saying goes "Pictures, or it didn't happen."

Ohhhhhh...... (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472685)

Ohhhhhh...... *SNAP!*

Firsrt (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472765)

End of the world (1)

nitin.sahai (1331107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472795)

OMFG, teh end awf da word haz begun. But wait!! Zesus will safe us all, lets all prey.

"the wilkins ice shelf con job" (3, Interesting)

jaiteace (581678) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472879)

>...and provides further evidence or rapid change in the region. Not everyone agrees. For another spin on this event take a look at http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Wilkins_Ice_Shelf_con.pdf [icecap.us] which suggests that the evidence for rapid climate change in this area is missing and suggests that, at best, hyperbole is involved.

The size of Jamaica (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472883)

Can someone please convert that into units we can understand, like States of Delaware, or Long Islands.

Look on the bright side.. (1)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472941)

There could be all sorts of cool stuff waiting to be discovered under the ice down there in Antarctica.. maybe atlantis [wikipedia.org] (unlikely), or the fortress of solitude [wikipedia.org] (slightly more likely), but more than anything it is really the last (mostly) unspoiled wilderness on the planet and it is a very big place!

I for one would quite like to go exploring there if it was just a tad warmer.. ;)

Antarctic has no West or East (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27472965)

Western side? Didn't you mean Northern side?

Metric (1)

tux0r (604835) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472997)

An ice bridge linking a shelf of ice the size of Jamaica to two islands in Antarctica has snapped.

Having trouble visualising... Seriously guys, we've already established Libraries of Congress as the arbitrary measure of choice, why introduce the size of Jamaica now?

Re:Metric (4, Funny)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473063)

For us Europeans, could somebody say how many Belgiums there are in a Jamaica, please?

Of course, nobody has seen fit to mention (1, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473025)

that there have been a number of Richter 5 earthquakes in the area in recent years that contributed a lot to the breakup of the ice.

Sure. Let's just let everybody think it's yet another indication of anthropogenic global warming.

Just look up the USGS reports. Of course, so many people just don't want to bother doing that...

Re:Of course, nobody has seen fit to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27473169)

I don't see anybody credible suggesting that global warming caused this. I do, however, see a concrete, testable hypothesis in the summary: ice will disappear from Antarctica faster now that the Wilkens Ice Shelf has fallen. This is pretty much accepted as fact in the geological community, since it has been verified MANY times, at many glaciers. Moreover, the physics and chemistry are well understood. The latter does have a relation to global warming: it will cause it, as less solar radiation is reflected into space.

Changes in water salinity at the poles is also slowing the flow of heat in the world's oceans. This can be expected to cause major climate change. Indeed, the Atlantic Gulf Stream is driven by the Atlantic conveyor, and without the conveyor, Britain and North Western Europe will cool to levels comparable to other regions at the same latitude, like Canada and Siberia. You don't even want to know what would happen if the conveyor stopped, as has happened in the past.

Re:Of course, nobody has seen fit to mention (1)

Exception Duck (1524809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473181)

I still think itÂs the pirates. CanÂt have anything to do with co2

YUO FAIL IT? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27473093)

From a technical GrandstandErs, the get how people can Paper towels

Penguins v Polar Bears (1)

scorpivs (1408651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27473163)

If it were an oil field, Wall Street, Detroit or Silicone Valley, you could count on something being done about it right away. NSLIG (no such luck, I guess.)
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