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Giant Ice Shelf Snaps

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the as-long-as-the-movie-doesn't-feature-sandra-bullock dept.

Science 529

Popo writes "Sattelite images have revealed that an ancient 66 square-kilometer ice shelf, the size of 11,000 football fields, has snapped off from an island in Canada's arctic. The Ayles Ice Shelf was one of 6 major shelves remaining in Canada's arctic and is estimated to be over 3000 years old. The collapse was so powerful that earthquake monitors 250 km away picked up tremors. Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor."

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529 comments

Drinks all around! (2, Interesting)

RuneSpyder (963917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402930)

Does 3000 year old ice make a good margarita?

Re:Drinks all around! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403050)

I think good Tequila and mix will make the margarita better than 3000 yr old ice. Besides, that ice has been outside for a long time with penguins, polar bears and what nots crapping all over it. That is NOT good eats!

Geography lesson (5, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403124)

that ice has been outside for a long time with penguins, polar bears and what nots crapping all over it


I agree with you that the tequila is what makes a good Margarita, but you are wrong about your crap. Penguins do not frequent the same ice as polar bears. Repeat with me, polar bears are in the North, penguins are in the South. Not, they do not meet at the tropics.

Re:Geography lesson (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403424)

But they may meet in badly managed Zoos!

Re:Drinks all around! (5, Informative)

butterwise (862336) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403200)

Actually, a real good margarita [wikihow.com] consists of good tequila, fresh lime juice and triple sec - not a mix.

Re:Drinks all around! (1)

hendersj (720767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403272)

Amen to that! Using a mix is for lazy people....And doing it right really doesn't take that much effort.

Re:Drinks all around! (1)

sean_ex_machina (1026748) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403418)

Glacier ice keeps your drink colder and cold longer than regular ol' ice machine ice does. Disappointingly, even here in Alaska nobody has tapped into this vast potential market yet.

unprecedented evile having its way with US? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402940)

or so it would seem?

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we the peepoles?

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for many of US, the only way out is up.

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some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

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concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

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Re:unprecedented evile having its way with US? (1)

jspectre (102549) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403038)

huh?

Re:unprecedented evile having its way with US? (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403348)

You have to read it with a Rap groove. Then it still doesn't make sense.

Overlooked (2, Insightful)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402946)

TFAs:
Using US and Canadian satellite images, as well as data from seismic monitors, Copland discovered that the ice shelf collapsed in the early afternoon of August 13, 2005.

At the longest and widest spans, the remains of the Ayles shelf are about 15 kilometres long and five kilometres wide. The fragment is between 30 and 40 metres thick.
This makes me wonder what else might have been overlooked.

How much is that in square furlongs? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17402948)

11,000 football fields. Yeah, there's an easy-to-visualize image. What a helpful comparison.

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403046)

and do they mean it in US football fields or the rest of the world 'football'. The rest of the story is in metric, so - who knows?

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403070)

Canadian football fields. It is a Canadian publication, and a Canadian ice shelf, so they must be Canadian Football Fields. 100 meters, not yards.

4th and 2 to go (1)

bobbonomo (997543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403310)

Canadian football (not soccer) is still in yards. Like: 4th and 2 (yards) to go. (Yes 4th)

3rd and 2 to go (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403384)

Canadian football only has 3 downs.

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (1)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403072)

> 11,000 football fields.

Football is an American sport. Therefore, Bush created global warming.

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403090)

Meh, the measurement is used often enough that it should be a standard unit by now.

We really should be using hides instead--what's the tax value for an ice shelf?

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403222)

I guess the tax value of an ice shelf would be about 4 baby seal pelts.

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (2, Informative)

Tucan (60206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403100)

Ah Google, what can't you do?

66 (square kilometers) = 630.89552 square furlongs

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (4, Informative)

Ziest (143204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403298)

66 square kilometers == 25.5 square mile

About half the size of San Francisco

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403140)

You just have to imagine a single football field where the dimensions are 105 times larger. A first down now is now roughly a kilometer. This is the kind of football field that Godzilla, King Kong, and Mothra would use (though Mothra would cheat by flying over the other team).

I think I have an idea for the next Godzilla movie:

Make a sports epic movie combined with crappy sci-fi.
???
Profit!

Re:How much is that in square furlongs? (5, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403226)

58 sq km

So a bit bigger than Bermuda [antor.org] (zoom out) [worldatlas.com] but a bit smaller than San Marino [aboutromania.com] (zoom out) [worldatlas.com]

Ungrateful scientists (5, Funny)

Elentari (1037226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402952)

It lasted a good deal longer than any shelf I've ever put up.

Happy Feet... (4, Funny)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402956)

Dang it! I thought we told those Penguins that they couldn't keep dancing like that!

Re:Happy Feet... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403188)

I also thought we told those penguins they don't live in the northern hemisphere!

Re:Happy Feet... (1)

dakirw (831754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403362)

I also thought we told those penguins they don't live in the northern hemisphere!
Tell that to the penguins in the zoos and aquariums of North America. :)

Re:Happy Feet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403260)

Penguins don't live in the north.
Yes, i killed the joke!

Won't someone think of the ice caps?! (1, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402960)

If only we could have stopped global warming 10,000 year ago! Then those of us in the northern US states could've skied year round!

Non Global-Warming Activity (2, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402962)

Seriously, is there anything happening in the arctic or antarctic regions that IS NOT the cause of Global Warming?

Re:Non Global-Warming Activity (3, Informative)

nharmon (97591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402998)

I mean the result of, RESULT OF! Oh good lord.

Re:Non Global-Warming Activity (0, Troll)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403012)

well, there's that one guy who likes to rape penguins.

Re:Non Global-Warming Activity (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403196)

Well, he can go to the arctic and rape all the penguins he wants to.

They, however, are in the antarctic.

Re:Non Global-Warming Activity (1)

DShard (159067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403324)

Seriously, is there anything happening in the arctic or antarctic regions that IS NOT the cause of Global Warming?

I guess global warming is causing reading comprehension to recede as well.

Re:Non Global-Warming Activity (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403306)

You swore you'd never tell!

Re:Non Global-Warming Activity (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403428)

I'm afraid that guy went crazy because his brain cooked in the 0.6 degree warmer weather.

Re:Non Global-Warming Activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403142)

It's called "climate change" because it's politically incorrect to say global warming..

less ambiguous units please! (5, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402966)

the size of 11,000 football fields

NFL? Canadian? European kickball?

Besides, this is a nerds site. Don't make athletic references.

Volkswagen Bugs or Libraries of Congress would be more appropriate.

Re:less ambiguous units please! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403078)

I don't think 25 square miles sounded dire enough.

Re:less ambiguous units please! (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403166)

"the size of 11,000 football fields "

The "football field measuring stick" is usually used when the object being measured is somewhat the size of a football field (1 football field, 5 football fields, etc). At 11,000 football fields, perhaps they could have used a different measuring stick. A better measuring stick would probably be the "rhode island."

Re:less ambiguous units please! (3, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403286)

Besides, this is a nerds site. Don't make athletic references.

Ok, imagine 11,000 of thoose fields the Jocks chased you across trying to give you a wedgie.

Is that better ?

Re:less ambiguous units please! (1)

mhokie (988228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403390)

For something of this magnitude, I'd sugggest VW Vanagons.

Well... (5, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17402978)

Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor."

So what was the cause 30 years ago?

It's a fair question, yes? Like when I hear "such and such place recorded the highest temperature in 150 years this week!" I think "What caused the previous high 150 years agp?" My brain has a pesky habit of continually asking questions. All those X-Files episodes, I guess. Trust no one. Ideologues hate me.

Re:Well... (1)

huckda (398277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403020)

Why are scientists so quick to point fingers all the time?

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

It'sYerMam (762418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403170)

It's their job? With respect to the GP, we would indeed not be bothered, but two things would warrant "pointing the finger." The first is increased frequency, and the second is a mechanism that we know could cause something of this kind. If these are observed, then being curious is probably the correct response.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403108)

that's my thought. a 1300 years ago it was so warm in England that english wine was better than french wine. I am not going to worry about Global warming until that happens again.

So the ice shelf is 3000 years old. That means 4000 years ago it was so warm that it couldn't form.

Re:Well... (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403242)

They still make wine in England today. And some people think that it tastes better than French wine. And Africa, where it is a whole lot hotter than France, doesn't make good wine at all. How 'good' wine tastes is no indicator of global temperature conditions.

The thing is, we do not *want* to return to the situation of over 3000 years ago, because it is not a situation in which modern civilisation has arisen.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403266)

that's my thought. a 1300 years ago it was so warm in England that english wine was better than french wine. I am not going to worry about Global warming until that happens again.

This is a very naive view. The problem is that most of our current civilization and infrastructure has been developed in the past few centuries during which the climate was not that warm. This infrastructure is fragile - it would not take much sea rise or change in rainfall patterns to cause major problems for a significant proportion of humanity.

You may not need to worry, but the hundreds of millions (if not billions) whose lives rely on our current climate would probably need to worry if things changed to the way they were 1300 years ago.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

scribblej (195445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403118)

That could just mean they've only been measuring for 30 years; it's more honest than saying 'in recorded history!' -- although if it is the case, they should say both to make it clear.

While you're asking good questions, add this one on: How is it that this thing is only 3000 years old? In geological timescales, that's nothing. The "blink of an eye." If it only just developed in the first place, why should we care that it's gone away again?

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403172)

As for the 150 years thing, it's because they had no thermometers 150 years ago, so their records only go back 150 years.

And in this case, the 30 years figure is because observations of this kind done with satellites has only been possible for 30 years, and any prior event would be impossible to measure.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403214)

I'm no environmental scientist, but surely there would need to be many such events measured before we could really start saying what caused it.

Is this a natural cycle? How long has this particular event been brewing? Have there been any other factors involved that can be discovered? These questions need to be answered before causes can be decided.

I am concerned about global warming, but I am also concerned about political motivations determining hypothesis, or special interest groups leaping on events and trumpeting them as being caused by their particular bugbear.

Such things do not good science make, and we need good science to get to grips with the causes of these events, lest we wander too far from the truth of it.

How much evidence do we need? (1, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403258)

What percentage of the ice has to melt before you are prepared to say that there is enough evidence to make a conclusion?

Re:How much evidence do we need? (2, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403372)

I don't know, but one event is not enough for a conclusion to be made. I know this is definatelly true.

This is not the same as saying I approve of global warming. I'm merely saying more data is required. I would be quite happy if the US and other lesser polluters stopped ripping into the ecosystem, but last I checked I'm not a global power, so I am unlikely to be able to stop anything the power hungry are doing.

Such feeling aside, my point remains.

Re:Well... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403228)

" Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor."
So what was the cause 30 years ago?

Probably a set of major contributing factors that did not include climate change, as can be inferred from the quote.

:P

Re:Well... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403354)

"Probably a set of major contributing factors that did not include climate change, as can be inferred from the quote."

Like what - really big polar bears coveringing by the thousands and dancing a stomp in unison?

No, really... that's a whole lot of ice, and Canada isn't exactly known as a geological hotbed of earthquakes or volcanoes, so...?

Not saying it's not possible for an earthquake to be the cause, but ruling out a huge factor such as climate entirely seems rather absurd, all things considered.

/P

can I take a shot. (2, Insightful)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403262)



I think I see where your going with this ie. is it a new event or just a re-occuring event. I'm a guess and say the first. You figure 30 years ago the ice shelves/glaciers were as much as twice as big as they are now. It all comes down to proportion. let say 30 years ago ice shelves represented about 500 square miles of area (ficticous number) this number proportionally wasnt' much. now lets reduce the total square footage of ice sheets by half, then break of the same amout. Yes it's the same as 30 years ago but proportionally it is significantly larger than in the past.

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

qortra (591818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403288)

So what was the cause 30 years ago?

Maybe it was a climate change? The climate changes all the time for various reasons, some of which we know, and most of which we don't.

I get the feeling that when you see "climate change", you assume that somebody is trying to push an ideology(specifically, Global Warming). I don't think this is the case. It's a fact that there is climate change, and it's a fact that the current climate change includes a increase in temperature, but not everybody claims that this is a result of human civilization. Temperature can only change in two directions, so there's a 50/50 shot that temperatures rise instead of fall.

Moreover, these scientists never specifically target global warming as a factor in the climate change which they merely suspect as a cause for this collapse. Read the following:

The researchers suspect climate change may have played a role in the collapse but said they cannot definitively say it is a result of global warming.

Maybe the people who wrote the article are trying to push the ideology, but the scientists aren't. They're only claiming that the increase in temperature which we have observed might be responsible for the demise of ice. Seems reasonable, no?

Re:Well... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403432)

It depends - what are you looking to find out when you get the answer? A better understanding of heat waves? Of local climate patterns? Of global climate patterns? Of crop growth? Of migration patterns? Of chaos theory? Of ice shelf tectonics? Of human habitat impact? Of randomness? Asking a question without knowing what you intend to learn is worse than no question - it's mindless wandering.

So I'd like to ask you: what topic did you have in mind?

Collossal (0, Offtopic)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403002)

And it only took a year and a half for anyone to notice. It must have been quite amazing. No wonder Florida has disappeared under the waters.

Northwest Passage (1)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403006)

If only all those explorers could have waited a few hundred years...

I can't wait..... (-1, Flamebait)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403008)

.... for the anti global warming types to downplay that CLEARLY OBVIOUS FACT that global warming is the cause.

Re:I can't wait..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403056)

This is the third millennium. Nobody argues anymore that global warming isn't happening. The debate is whether or not it is caused by man or something else.

Re:I can't wait..... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403186)

"This is the third millennium. Nobody argues anymore that global warming isn't happening. The debate is whether or not it is caused by man or something else."

I guess George W. is not a nobody, not to mention Stephen Harper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Harper) as they both have argued that global warming doesn't exist.

Re:I can't wait..... (1, Insightful)

Jerry (6400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403336)

We're also in the "Third Cycle" of modern Doomsday predictions. It's only "Popular Opinion", driven by an incessant output of articles repeating the party line. There was a time when "Popular Opinion", enforced by the political power of the time, said the world was flat. "Popular Opinion" is rarely right, if ever.

Prior to "Global Warming" and its bogus Hockey Stick "study" it was Glaciation and/or Nuclear Winter, complimented by the Club of Rome "studies". In the last 25 years Time Magazine has had it both ways, but the solution is always the same: "Progressive" policies (read: Socialism/Communism).

It's common for the Extreme Left, and their fellow travelers in the Media, to invent disasters from selected data so they can save us all by the application of Socialism, at the expense of our personal liberties, of course.

Re:I can't wait..... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403370)

This is the third millennium. Nobody argues anymore that global warming isn't happening. The debate is whether or not it is caused by man or something else.
I don't think that debate even matters, it's a silly blame game. I think the debate that really comes down to making a difference anywhere is "do we have governments pass legislation/treaty/etc XYZ in an attempt to counter this climate change" or do we have governments do nothing. And the big questions in that debate are: "how much are global warming's effects going to be a problem, how soon, and to whom", "what does XYZ actually accomplish, how much does it cost to whom, and is it worth it?, and "what's going to happen to address the problem otherwise?".

The first question is really the focus of things like Al Gore's movie (which has been criticized by better men than me for exaggerating risks and playing up fear, uncertainty and doubt). The second is the focus of debate about, say, the Kyoto Protocol, whether it will actually accomplish anything with developing nations growing their economies, whether the costs are going to cripple anyone... The third is the realm of things like hybrid cars (hardly mainstream yet, but getting closer day by day - because it makes sense, and people will like it) and the electric car (still waiting for the uber-batteries after all these years, and a failure since it doesn't really make sense) and better insulation and more energy-efficent homes and lighting (LED lighting? still not hitting it big, but breaking into the Christmas light market).

Oh, and things like corn-based ethanol, a topic which is very good at demonstrating the power of lobbying and the superficial appearance of "environmental friendliness" and other such fluff to obtain big fat government subsidies for people who are after them ... which is about what you can expect to see if you think the government should spend lots of money on "alternative energy"...

Re:I can't wait..... (1)

Elentari (1037226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403062)

Anything can look like a "clearly obvious fact" if it supports your own opinion. God forbid that nature should contribute to unexplained and random events involving large lumps of ice, given that it's usually so predictable.

Re:I can't wait..... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403164)

I don't have a problem with global warming. The earth has been warming up for the last 10,000 years. Good thing too, else we would not have been here.

Re:I can't wait..... (1)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403360)

I don't have a problem with global warming. The earth has been warming up for the last 10,000 years. Good thing too, else we would not have been here.

So, the rate of warming means nothing to you?

Let's take your assertion as truth. The earth has been warming for 10,000 years. It's warmed X degrees globally in that time.

For the sake of argument, let's say that in the past forty years, the temperature has again increased by X degrees. Do you see the problem now?

A river in Eygpt (0)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403022)

Got to wonder at what point the government surrenders and admits to human induced climate change? It's like down turns in the economy, things like the housing market. They deny there's a slow down until they can anounce recovery well they never admitted to the slowdown in the first place so what are we recovering from? If they are waiting for the climate to improve on it's own before admitting to global warming they are likely to have a long wait. Even a minor shift can take hundreds of years to reverse and this one isn't looking minor so it can take thousands of years. Do we have to loose coastal Florida or New York City before they admit there's a problem?

Re:A river in Eygpt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403106)

Why does everybody forget the SUN? The source of 99.999% of the heat on earth varying in its output by a teeny tiny fraction of a percentage of it's output couldn't possibly make the earth warmer or colder could it?

Re:A river in Eygpt (0, Redundant)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403212)

Why does everybody forget the SUN? The source of 99.999% of the heat on earth varying in its output by a teeny tiny fraction of a percentage of it's output couldn't possibly make the earth warmer or colder could it?

So, your hypothesis is that the sun, which has been massively consistent in heat output for the past 60,000 years according to core samples, waited to turn up the heat until the precise moment in geological history that human beings started putting 70 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere?

Seriously - watch an Inconvenient Truth. It won't kill you and you might actually learn something.

Re:A river in Eygpt (3, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403246)

70 million tons of CO2

Should be 70 million tons of CO2 a day. But I'm sure it's the sun "surging" or something. Let's organize a space mission to toss giant ice cubes into the sun!

Re:A river in Eygpt (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403350)

People don't forget the Sun. Certainly solar forcing is a major factor in climate models. However, variations in solar output alone can't explain the warming trend we currently see. See, for instance, this review [terradaily.com] .

Cavemen had Hummers? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403198)

Yah know, those cave men must have lit huge bon-fires to warm their caves and bring on the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago... Maybe they all had Hummers...

Re:A river in Eygpt (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403224)

Got to wonder at what point the government surrenders and admits to human induced climate change?

While it would be absolutely foolish to dispute the reality of global warming, many of the arguments for it actually being human induced are somewhat specious, simply because global temperature records do not go back for enough to make a statistically meaningful analysis of the cause.

I'm not saying that we aren't the cause, but before the last ice-age this planet was a whole lot warmer than it is right now, and it managed to chill eventually. This whole thing could just be part of the normal geological cycle.

Re:A river in Eygpt (1)

bob65 (590395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403244)

Why does the government have to "admit" to human induced climate change? We live on this freakin' planet, just like any other plant or animal - of course we're changing the climate. The climate (and environment in general) is there for us to change, to utilize, for our survival. Maybe there are other ways of dealing with the unpleasant effects of global warming on humans than simply preventing it?

Military question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403040)

During the second world war, tens of thousands of airplanes were produced by both sides. Impressive considering the manufacturing abilities of the time, which were not necessarily bad, but nothing like today.

Now, we see conflicts in Somalia, Sudan and even Afghanistan. A lot of times, there is little or no air support. Even when modern countries like the UK and Canada are involved.

Would it be impracticale for countries like Ethiopia to deploy dozens or perhaps a hundred WW2 style bombers instead of 2 old MIGs against the Islamic Courts?

Couldn't the UK bomb taliban positions with a dozen or two lancasters with modern equipment?

Re:Military question (0, Offtopic)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403406)

This is off-topic, but it's interesting.

Two old MiGs against a dozen Corsairs--who do you think would win?

But since MiGs go for millions each, even older ones, and a Corsair would cost maybe a hundred thousand, you can afford a dozen WW2 planes for each enemy MiG. And it's simpler to maintain a Corsair than a MiG. You do need more pilots, but since each plane costs less, your pilots can train more.

I suppose it's simply a governmental / military desire to have the biggest and the best, even if that means you have less of it. Illogical, but no less true.

Ah yess... (1)

sgt.greywar (1039430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403042)

Global warming had to be the cause, not the fact that this was *an ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields!*

Why I should be a highly paid spin consultant. (4, Funny)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403052)

Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor.


The implication is that 30 years ago there was a larger event. So if a smaller sheet of ice broke off now than the one from 30 years back, doesn't that mean the problem is going away? :)

Re:Why I should be a highly paid spin consultant. (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403290)

The implication is that 30 years ago there was a larger event. So if a smaller sheet of ice broke off now than the one from 30 years back, doesn't that mean the problem is going away? :)

No, things aren't that simple, because what matters is not just how large the events are, but how often they happen.

Outstanding (0, Troll)

tfiedler (732589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403054)

Man it's about time that worthless chunk of ice fell of the island. This world needs some change for a change, melting ice caps and glaciers are a good thing and I can't wait to see more beachfront property opening up at the top of the world! Think of the land rush! I'm getting in early.

Global warming, climate change, blah, blah, blah. I know the knee jerks like to make alarmist press about the warming of the world (slashdot being filled with knee jerks), along with their peak oil theories, and what not, but really, Really, why should we care?

Stop polluting and spouting CO2, or ... Nice messages and heck, I even support some of them, but save me the indigination while we're all tapping away on our keyboards, jamming with our ipods (or a zune or zen if you're an idiot) and in general consuming stuff at viral levels.

Yeah, I'm rambling so mod me down. Meanwhile, I'm saddling up my cow and going riding! Methane man on the way.

11,000 football fields? (4, Funny)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403068)

How many hockey rinks is that?

hockey rinks (2, Funny)

bobbonomo (997543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403378)

Hard to say. There is no standard size hockey rink: just a minimum size and maximum size.

Sensationalism at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403096)

"Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor."

From the article:

"The researchers suspect climate change may have played a role in the collapse but said they cannot definitively say it is a result of global warming."

MAY HAVE and CANNOT DEFINITELY SAY

Someone is spinning again...

11,000 Football field (2, Funny)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403136)

I was hoping to get a quick translation of football fields to Rhode Islands [google.com] , but Google couldn't help me. Anyone else with a better calculator available?

Re:11,000 Football field (4, Informative)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403364)

Rhode Island is 1214 square miles or 33844377600 square feet.
A football field is 58000 square feet x 11000 = 638000000 square feet for the iceberg.
Rhode Island is about 584524 football fields.

So the iceberg is about 1/53rd of the size of Rhode Island.

Henry Hudson should have waited (1)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403156)

Had he just spent a little more time at the pub, he could have waited for events like this to happen, and finally open up that Northwest Passage he was hired to look for. Just got impatient, I guess.

Btw, in more normal units, it's roughly 25 square miles, or 1600 sq furlongs. Thankfully it's ice, so nobody has to mow it, though I feel for the zamboni operator charged with its upkeep. (I presume a sheet is flat ice, and therefore probably covered in hockey players this time of year)

Carrier has arrived (1)

fancyasian (1044904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403184)

i for one welcome our new polar bear overlords.

Because we all know (0, Flamebait)

bagboy (630125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403204)

that in 20-30 years ice this thick must have melted (as a result of global warming)... Puhlease.... It takes more than 20 years for ice this thick to melt to a shelving point... So either global warming has been going on long before previously thought or this shelving was not necessarily "caused" by global warming but rather than an ongoing process of many many years....

Re:Because we all know (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403322)

Why do you think that global warming has only been going on for 20 years?

11,000 football fields (0, Redundant)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403210)

How many Libraries of Congress is that?

TERRORORRISTSS (4, Funny)

SydBarrett (65592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403218)

If you look closely, you can see where explosives were planted near the base. There is no way the self could have collapsed on its own. And isn't it strange how no penguins came to work that day?

Canada should totally start rebuilding that ice shelf just to show those terrorists that NOBODY messes with Canada, eh?

Oh shit (1)

Rodness (168429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403232)

As the movies have taught us, when an ice shelf snaps the entire northern hemisphere freezes solid. All y'all up there in the northlands are f**ked. And where I live in San Diego, housing costs will soar. :)

Spelling Error Overlooked by Editor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403292)

Author: Sattelite images have revealed that an ancient 66 square-kilometer ice shelf...

Article: Satellite imagery shows the ice shelf breaking away.

I would have thought an error like this would have been caught by the editor, apparently not.

useless information in this article (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17403388)

I need to know how much this weighs. In terms of Volkswagens.

Size analogy translation (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403392)

size of 11,000 football fields


So how many Olympic sized swimming pools or libraries of congress is that?

Sea Level? (1)

Mizled (1000175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403408)

Does this mean the Sea Level will rise?

How many elephants does it weigh? (2, Funny)

Shky (703024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403416)

Because 11,000 football fields is easier to imagine than 66 square kilometers.

Great news! (1)

sponglish (759074) | more than 7 years ago | (#17403420)

Hook the ice shelf up to some powerful tugs and drag it down to Australia! They're having a drought y'know and could use the fresh water
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