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Normal Operations of an Antarctic Glacier Speeding Up

Normal Operations of an Antarctic Glacier Speeding Up


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 13 April 2019

 

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & FISH

Glacial Mechanics of Pine Island Glacier
Pine Island Glacier, NASA Earth Observatory animation by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.
NASA Earth Observatory animation by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.

 

Normal Operations of an Antarctic Glacier Speeding Up

The Wide View of a Shrinking Glacier: Retreat at Pine Island,
NASA Earth Observatory, April 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Thinning & Retreating Faster
“...a shrinking outlet glacier is usually doing three things: thinning (mostly at the seaward edge), retreating, and accelerating. The acceleration stretches the glacier, causing the thinning and likely making the ice more prone to crevassing (cracking) “upstream.”

Shrinking
“...over the long term at Pine Island, you can see that the ice front has retreated inland, which means the calving rate has increased more than the glacier has accelerated. “This underlies our concern that retreating outlet glaciers can ‘shrink’ rapidly.”

Quicker Calving
“Large calving events used to take place at Pine Island Glacier every four to six years. More recently, calving has occurred on a near-annual basis and the bergs tend to break up more easily into smaller pieces.”

Pine Island Icebergs

2001: B-21

2007: B-27

2013: B-31

2015: B-35 and B-41

2017: B-44

2018: B-46

 

 

Previous Glacier News

Ice Research: Half of Euro Glaciers Gone by 2050, the remainder by 2100

 

 

Icebergs!

Ross Ice Shelf
Mother of Monster B-15
Eighteen Years to the End of the Line for the Massive B-15 Iceberg

 

Glaciers
Killing the Planet: End of Cold, Glaciers are Crashing

 

Recent
Glacier Research Links
Extensive End of Cold links

 

Search
Glaciers

 

Antarctic Resources

Antarctic Map
Canada/British Antarctic Survey detailed map of Antarctica
Canada's BAS PDF Antarctic Map

 

 

 

Antarctic Ice Shelves
Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) showing location of key ice shelves.
Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) showing location of key ice shelves, credit to Antarctic Glaciers Organization.
Credit to Antarctic Glaciers Organization

 

 

 

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climate change, Antarctica, Pine Island Glacier, speeding up, retreating, calving

 

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