Bits and pieces
Satellite image captures further fragmentation of Wilkins Ice Shelf
Posted May 31, 2013
A satellite image first captured in March and released this month by NASA shows the disintegrating Wilkins Ice Shelf is still shedding icebergs five years after news broke that a 405-square-kilometer chunk sloughed off the southwestern front of the ice shelf. The high-resolution image above from the WorldView-2 satellite shows a portion of the Wilkins Ice Shelf and a large assemblage of icebergs and sea ice just off the shelf front.
Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center , an expert on the ice shelves that ring the Antarctica Peninsula, was quoted by NASA that he did not believe the most recent breakup is related to global climate change.
“I would not characterize this breakup as a direct result of climate warming, but rather an indirect result of the change in the shape of the shelf,” he said. “A breakup changes the stresses within the ice and will cause small retreats that reshape the shelf for several years. These retreats tend to happen when ocean waves can impinge directly on the shelf front.”
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