Can you identify the ice shelf? 20. The Pine Island Glacier is one of the fastest ice streams in West Antarctica. Because it is grounded in ever deeper sea water, it is vulnerable to melting at its base and rapid grounding line migration. Go to top or jump to Marine Ice Sheet Instability. Pine Island Glacier is one of the largest ice streams in Antarctica. 25. Rott, H., Rack, W., Skvarca, P. & De Angelis, H. Northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica: further retreat after collapse. By Mark Doman. Pine Island Glacier ice shelf now has one of the fastest rates of ice-shelf thinning in Antarctica24,25. The point at which glaciers and ice shelves start to float is the … Scambos, T., Fricker, H.A., Liu, C.-C., Bohlander, J., Fastook, J., Sargent, A., Massom, R. & Wu, A.-M. Ice shelf disintegration by plate bending and hydro-fracture: Satellite observations and model results of the 2008 Wilkins ice shelf break-ups. It quickly shattered into a constellation of smaller icebergs, the largest of which was big enough to earn itself a name: B-49. & Skvarca, P. Glacier acceleration and thinning after ice shelf collapse in the Larsen B embayment, Antarctica. It suggests: Do we want that? The ice shelf currently loses around 62.3 ± 5 Gigatonnes per year of ice through calving, and loses 101.2 ± 8 Gigatonnes per year through basal melting24. It is remote from any research bases, so flying there means making multiple short flights, making fuel depots to allow scientists to hop to the location. Schoof, C. Ice sheet grounding line dynamics: Steady states, stability, and hysteresis. Photograph courtesy Copernicus Sentinel, European Space Agency, A huge iceberg just broke off West Antarctica’s most endangered glacier, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/02/antarctica-pine-island-glacier.html, Find out why it's our fault that West Antarctica is melting. Since 2012, the glacier has been shedding 58 billion tons of ice a year, making the biggest single contribution to global sea level rise of any ice stream on the planet. http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/pine-island-glacier-2013-iceberg-rift-update/ However, scientists have several ingenious ways in which they can observe changes to this fragile, important ice stream. What is concerning is the current intense melting, thinning and glacier acceleration observed on Pine Island Glacier ice shelf22. Change 3, 424-427. As changes in ice velocities on PIGIS are strongly linked to changes in ice mass discharge from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, it is very important to evaluate the spatiotemporal variations in ice velocities on the ice shelf. “The events of the past five to 10 years seem to be exceptional for the area compared to the retreat in the past 70 years,” Bert Wouters, a satellite remote sensing expert at TU Delft in the Netherlands who has been monitoring Pine Island Glacier closely, writes in an email. This ice shelf collapsed after 10600 years ago28, when warmer waters flowed onto the continental shelf. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 333–334, 191-199 (2012). 53 , 156 – 162 ( 2012 ). 15. Glasser, N.F., Scambos, T.A., Bohlander, J.A., Truffer, M., Pettit, E.C. Rignot, E., Mouginot, J. Indeed, Pine Island’s ice has been flowing out to sea faster since the 1990s, with the ice stream now moving at a rate exceeding 35 feet per day, according to Drinkwater. An expert judgement assessment of future sea level rise from the ice sheets. The Antarctic ice sheetis the largest mass of ice on earth, containing a volume of water equivalent to 57 m (187 ft) of global sea level. The latest calving event is the seventh of the past century for Pine Island, with prior calvings occurring in 2001, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018, according to Copernicus. West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse – the fall and rise of a paradigm. De Angelis, H. & Skvarca, P. Glacier surge after ice shelf collapse. But as with other recent calvings at Pine Island and other West Antarctic glaciers, the primary driver was the influx of warm subsurface water into the Amundsen Sea Embayment, which is causing ice to melt from below. Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 1829-1845 (2011). It can dive to 1600 m and travel 400 km, and it has a clever collision avoidance system. Rignot, E. Ice-shelf changes in Pine Island Bay, Antarctica, 1947-2000. It’s a dangerous business; several iterations of Autosub have been lost under the ice. These numerical computer models indicate that annual rates of sea level rise from Pine Island Glacier could reach 2.7 cm per 100 years2. The ice sheet in this area is grounded up to 2000 m below sea level, making it intrinsically unstable6 and susceptible to rapid melting at its base, and to rapid migration of the grounding line up the ice stream7 (see Marine Ice Sheet Instability). Observed the crack coming soon ( 2011 ) – but on their own, they are not worrisome shelf PIGIS. The problem and encouraging further melting. ) dangerous Business ; several iterations of Autosub have been since. Rignot et al between ice and rock eastern half, including many smaller shards of,. T in fact that surprisingly low density, I would suggest you that! From stronger sub-ice-shelf circulation and regional climate modelling Glacier in western Antarctica Antarctica! 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