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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Antarctic Warming

Author: Guest Writer/Wednesday, April 25, 2012/Categories: Uncategorized

According to NASA research, warm currents upwelling under Antarctic ice shelves are the dominant cause of recent ice losses around the continent.

The space agency has created an animated video to show the circulation of currents around West Antarctic ice shelves. The shelves themselers are indicated in rainbow colors with red indicating thicker ice (greater than 550 meters) and blue tones representing thinner cover (less than 200 meters) of ice.

   Antarctica-satellite-wikipedia              British-Antarctic-Survey-ice-shelf           

   Antarctica, Satellite Composite           Ronne Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

   (credit: Wikipedia)                             (credit: British Antarctic Survey

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Ocean Currents and Antarctic Ice Melting (credit: NASA)

The factors driving this Antarctic ocean warming aren’t known yet but indications of increased tropical winds affecting the sub-Antarctic currents off of South America may have increased warm water circulations around the frozen continent. Floating ice sheets act like “plugs” to brake the movement of Antarctic glaciers and their massive stores of frozen water on the uplands of the continent. If the plug is released, the river flows outward.

Watch the NASA video and connect some future dots yourself.



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