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Title:After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice

Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell in the high interior to compensate for what melted around the edges.

But the situation has changed. On balance, Antarctica is now losing ice. And more and more, scientists are concerned about that melting and its potential impacts — from sea level rise to changed ocean and air circulation to stress on wildlife — both local and global. Knowing that there is still much to learn, they are stepping up their research, despite the massive challenges in learning anything in such extreme conditions.

“Where did all the Antarctic sea ice go?” “Full Story” podcast, The Guardian. This excellent 19-minute interview by Laura Murphy-Oates with Graham Readfearn (The Guardian’s Australia environment writer) and oceanographer Will Hobbs clearly explains both the anomalous loss of southern sea ice last winter and its larger possible ramifications.

For a print account of the same situation, see “Dark waters as Antarctic researchers dive into grim climate picture.” Matthew Ward Agius, Cosmos.

“The Race to Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier.” Jon Gertner, Wired. An interesting portrait of one scientist and the massive research project he is now part of, the ITGC. Though this article dates from before COVID-19 put the project on hold, it has lost none of its relevance.

The extensive website of this joint U.S.-U.K. effort includes a short video with clear graphics, an impressive list of participants, and an article about the goals of the current season, now underway.

“Warming seas are carving into glacier that could trigger sea level rise.” Chris Mooney, Washington Post. An intriguing...

Organization:Skeptical Science
Date Added:2/12/2024 6:39:46 AM