Again, Prof. Rott specifically points to global warming as a factor in the melting of ice shelves:
“The northern Antarctic Peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming of about 2.5°C over the last 50 years – a much stronger warming trend than on global average, causing retreat and disintegration of ice shelves.”
This graphic shows how temperatures increased from 1981 to 2007 in Antarctica, contributing to the shrinking of the Larsen ice shelf.
The Envisat satellite has been in operation for twice as long as planned. Scientists are planning for it to make more observations of Earth’s ice caps, land, oceans and atmosphere for at least the next two years — such continued monitoring is crucial to predict what might happen to the much larger ice masses of West Antarctica, if warming spreads further south.
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