Interview: Unlocking the Secrets
Of Antarctica's Fastest-Moving Glacier
NASA’s Robert Bindschadler, a leading expert on glaciers and ice sheets, is part of an international team
monitoring the Pine Island Glacier, a large and fast-moving ice stream in West Antarctica. In an interview with Yale Environment 360
, Bindschadler explained why Pine Island is now rushing to the sea more rapidly than any other glacier in Antarctica, advancing at the astonishing rate of a foot an hour, or more than two miles a year. The enormous volume of ice that the Pine Island Glacier is losing annually — 46 billion tons — is making a significant contribution to rising global sea levels. Indeed, should the Pine Island Glacier and its neighbor, the Thwaites Glacier, slide into the Southern Ocean, global sea levels could rise by nearly five feet. Bindschadler says that such an occurrence is possible this century, especially if shifting ocean currents continue to channel warmer water onto submerged sections of the glacier and air temperatures in West Antarctica continue to rise.
Click here to read the full interview.
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Photographer Peter Essick documents the swift changes wrought by global warming in Antarctica, Greenland, and other far-flung places. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video that chronicles the story of a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.