State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Antarctica’s Ice: the Big Picture

Map of Antarctica, from NASA.
Map of Antarctica, from NASA.

The Science, Revisited:

The impacts of climate change are being felt around the world, but the changes in the polar regions have been more pronounced. The world began to take notice to these changes when an ice shelf roughly the size of Rhode Island collapsed into the ocean in 2002. At 10,000 years old, the Larson B Ice Shelf only took 35 days to fall completely into the sea. The event was a wake-up call to the world.

This article by Christine Evans, a graduate student in the Sustainability Management program, and Margie Turrin of the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, gives a comprehensive view of the state of Antarctic ice.

The article also helps contextualize the current research being conducted over the Ross Ice Shelf by the IcePod team. Be sure to check out the ongoing posts from the field here. And you can watch a video of scientist Robin Bell explaining the impact of the Larsen B collapse, and what’s going on with ice at the poles, here.

This is one in an ongoing series looking back at some key State of the Planet stories about climate science. We hope to help readers better understand the science and just what is at stake at the UN climate conferences in Paris. Stay tuned for more.

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