Ice Caps - Glaciers - Panic - Total Destruction

This Article speaks nightmarishly of a GIGANTIC chunk of glacier (ten times the size of Manhattan) that has cracked off and sunk into the sea.

The article then goes on to say that this is ‘a canary in a coalmine’ regarding the dangers of global warming.

Yes, that’s a biased site I’ve offered, but lately I’m hearing more and more about these polar ice caps on the maintstream news and I’m curious as to why more people aren’t…well…worried.

This is the fastest glacier melting in the history of the EARTH, and we’re acting like it’s no biggie?

What’s the scoop on this for real?

You are right to be worried but not that right :slight_smile:

Yes there were an ice shelf in antartic that sunk into the ocean because of melting and that’s bad. But, this shelf was ratter small so there’s no worry there. The real problem is that in an estimated 100 years or so, the ice-shelf near the one that sunk might also sunk and this one is kinda huge!! Scientist estimate that the sea level could raise by 1 meter by the end of the 21st century. But, hey, it’s still 100 year to get ready.

Oh, BTW, this would probably cause a tsunami and that’s very very bad!! Try this to understand tsunami and how they are form :

Thanks for the heads up meta-x. I’ll do some more reading. Seems like people are speaking more about the resulting changes in the atmosphere though, rather than the glacier itself. I’m more worried about the mass draughts and such that they’re talking about as a result of this rapid global warming.

But a tsunami…that’s nothing great either.


Glacier “calving” is in fact a normal process. The real concern is the current rate of calving, which seems to be much higher than “normal.”

If you think that one was big, check out this one which broke of in April 2000:

I for one am quite worried.

Here’s a great image of the area:

B-15 is the iceberg I referenced, C-18 is the one that just calved from the ice shelf. Now look at the huge section between B-15 and C-18 – I wonder how vulnerable that area is, given the weakness on its flanks.

What I don’t get is how this will cause draught. Will these icebergs all melt and evaporate so fast that regular rain and snow storms won’t be able to replenish the moisture lost?


Once again we reach the same point in the science of climate prediction. We have more prediction than we do science. There is no doubt that the Earth is warming. There is very little doubt that the rate of warming is increasing. Trouble is, we don’t know what that means.

To give an example, just last week in Science magazine there was a publisher’s note about a recent study which pointed out that we know that water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. What we don’t know is whether increasing the total amount of water in the atmosphere will increase or decrease the rate at which the planet heats, or cools. This is a body of observations in a desperate search for a science.

The warming trend may continue as we now measure it. It might slow down, or it might speed up. It may be because of human influence, or because of natural cycles we have not identified, or human influence may have delayed natural cycles we have not identified. Then there are the changes which may occur as a result of the increases.

Catastrophic melting of the Antarctic Ice Pack may have occurred at least once in geologic history. If so, sea levels rising, tsunamis, and positive feedback into the warming trend may each or all occur. Or not. The alteration in salinity and temperature from Polar melting, (or more importantly the Greenland Ice Sheet) could well cause a redirection of the Gulf Stream. Surprisingly, that change could occur on a time scale measured in decades, not centuries, resulting in a massive alteration in the temperatures of all of northern Eurasia. But then again, it might not.

If the possible results seem murky, you should read up on the possible causes. Carbon cycles altered by man, The presence of the Himalayan Plateau, the presence of the Andes/Rockies, the absence of large scale magma releases in the last hundred thousand years, periodicities in astronomic processes, all possible, none proven, and not a chance in hell that we can do much about most of them.

You and I can . . . carry an umbrella, galoshes, and a heavy coat, wear sunscreen, and . . . support the fight against the evil forces that are causing global warming, as soon as we find out what those forces are.


Global warming is likely to have different effects in different areas. It will change the over gradient of heat distribution between the Equator and the poles, and hence global weather patterns. Some areas will become wetter, some drier. There is no direct relationship between drought and the ice caps melting, but they are produced by the same general phenomenon. Likewise, the El Nino phenomenon produces catastrophic floods in some areas, and droughts in others.

I assume you were talking about drought in your post, and not using the British spelling of “draft.” :wink: :wink:

With regard to different effects in different areas, note that this catastrophic ice shelf collapse took place on the Antarctic peninsula, which extends much further north than the main body of the continent. Present data seems to indicate that, contrary to expectations, much of Antarctica is cooling. I read a report recently that attributes this anomaly to the ozone hole that forms over the South Pole every year.

As Triskademus says, there is an enormous amount of uncertainty in predictions about the consequences of global warming, especially locally. A catastrophic collapse of the Antarctic ice cap is far from a certainty, and probably not even likely, but on the other hand it can’t be ruled out.

I don’t think you need to keep a lifeboat on your roof. At the same time, I wouldn’t advise investing in beachfront property in south Florida, either.