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Posts tagged Latady Island

The Wilkins Ice Shelf and Douglas Range, Antarctica

70.7S 74.9W

July 21st, 2009 Category: Climate Change

Antarctica - July 2nd, 2009

Antarctica - July 2nd, 2009

Icebergs continue to break off the Wilkins Ice Shelf near its connection to Latady Island (bottom left quadrant). The last time this area was observed (click here for previous article), the left side of the ice connecting the shelf to the island was cracking.

In this image, taken six weeks later, the ice around those cracks has splintered off entirely, leaving the edges smooth once again and adding more icebergs to those floating nearby in the open ocean.

Upon opening the full, orthorectified image the peaks of the Douglas Range on Alexander Island can be seen towards the top. These mountains are part of a sharp-crested range, with peaks rising to 3,000 metres.

The range extends 120 km (75 mi) in a northwest-southeast direction from Mount Nicholas to Mount Edred and forming a steep east escarpment of Alexander Island within the British Antarctic Territory, overlooking the north part of George VI Sound.

Icebergs from Wilkins Ice Shelf Float Past Latady Island

70.7S 74.9W

May 20th, 2009 Category: Climate Change

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - May 18th, 2009

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - May 18th, 2009

Cracks by Latady Island

Cracks by Latady Island

Icebergs from the desintegrated Wilkins Ice Shelf continue to break away from the Antarctic Peninsula and move into the open ocean.

These icebergs were previously contained by an ice bridge reaching Charcot Island (partially visible, far left), until it shattered about seven weeks ago.

In the full image, the icebergs can be seen floating off in all directions. Many can be observed left of Latady Island (bottom), others towards Rothschild Island (top).

The ice shelf and Latady Island remain connected, however fractures near the border continue to widen.

Loss of Ice from Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica

70.7S 74.9W

May 13th, 2009 Category: Climate Change

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - May 12th, 2009

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - May 12th, 2009

Cracks by Latady Island

Cracks by Latady Island

Since the ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf (center) to Charcot Island (upper left in the full image) broke six weeks ago, the icebergs from the desintegrated shelf have been moving further away from the Antarctic Peninsula.

The ice shelf is still connected to Latady Island (lower left),  although fractures in the area have formed and widened.

According to the European Commission, researchers predict that the northern edge of the ice shelf will continue to discharge icebergs over the coming weeks, and it is expected to lose between 570 and 3,370 square kilometres of ice. This loss might be even greater if the connection to Latady Island is broken as well.

More Cracks Form in Wilkins Ice Shelf Around Latady Island

April 21st, 2009 Category: Climate Change

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - April 20th, 2009

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - April 20th, 2009

Detail of collapsed ice bridge

Detail of collapsed ice bridge

Detail of Latady Island

Detail of Latady Island

Just over two weeks ago, the 500 meter wide ice bridge linking the Wilkins Ice Shelf to Charcot Island (upper left)  snapped.

The remnants of the bridge can be seen in the close-up. The bridge had been holding back icebergs from the desintegrated ice shelf. These icebergs continue to move out towards the open ocean.

The second close-up focuses on the ice shelf’s connection to Latady Island (lower left), which scientists fear could ultimately break apart as well.

In the five-day period between when these images and those from the previous article were captured, many new rifts and cracks have appeared, and the pre-existing cracks have widened. (Please click here to see the previous article).

Icebergs from Wilkins Ice Shelf Continue to Move Away from Antarctic Peninsula

April 15th, 2009 Category: Climate Change

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - April 15th, 2009

Wilkins Ice Shelf, Antarctica - April 15th, 2009

Detail of collapsed ice bridge

Detail of collapsed ice bridge

Detail of Latady Island

Detail of Latady Island

Since the collapse of the ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf to Charcot Island (upper left) 10 days ago, icebergs from the desintegrated ice shelf appear to be moving farther away from the Antarctic Peninsula, towards the open ocean.

The remaining part of the ice shelf’s connection to Latady Island (lower left) is also thinning. Here, large cracks near the island can be seen.

According to the British Antarctic Survery, it is probable that the current reduction in ice-shelves in the region has no precedent in the last 10,000 years, and certain that this minimum has not been reached at any time in the last millennium.

The ice bridge ruptured while negotiations on a new climate deal were taking place in Bonn, Germany. At that time, Greenpeace stated that the shattering of the ice bridge connecting the Wilkins ice shelf to Antarctica was a complete contrast to progress on global action.

A Greenpeace International spokeswoman announced that “The breakup of this ice shelf is in vivid contrast to the glacial pace of the international climate negotiations, where governments are trying to avoid acting responsibly – and bickering about who’s at fault”, and called for industralised countries to commit to cutting emissions by 40% by the year 2020 and following concrete measures to support developing countries’ efforts to decarbonise.

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