e360 digest


28 Sep 2011: Canadian Ice Shelves
Have Lost Half Their Size in Six Years

Canada’s Arctic ice shelves, which extend from land onto the Arctic Ocean, have lost about half of their size in the last six years, according to scientists. Using satellite imagery to monitor ice loss, researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa said the Serson Ice Shelf, which measured 205 square kilometers in 2008,

Click to enlarge
Canada Ice Shelf

NASA/Carleton University
Ellesmere Island ice shelf decreases, 2005-2011
has now broken into two shelves covering a total of just 32 square kilometers. The Ellesmere Island ice shelves, which covered 8,900 square kilometers a century ago and shrunk to 1,043 square kilometers in 2005, now cover just 563 square kilometers. Derek Mueller, a Carleton researcher, says rising temperatures are not only causing the shelves to crack and melt, but also are exposing the shelves to wave action because the pack ice that once surrounded the shelves is disappearing, as well. The shelves have been around thousands of years and are typically more than 125 feet thick. The scientists say that about 3 billion tons of ice have been lost. “This is our coastline changing,” Mueller said. “These unique and massive geographical features that we consider to be part of the map of Canada are disappearing and they won’t come back.” While the melting ice may expedite the search for new oil reserves in the region, researchers say that large pieces of the disintegrating ice shelves could increasingly threaten oil drilling rigs in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

Email      Recommend     Tweet     Stumble Upon     Digg     Share    


Yale
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
.

SEARCH e360



Donate to Yale Environment 360
Yale Environment 360 Newsletter

CONNECT

Twitter: YaleE360
e360 on Facebook
Donate to e360
View mobile site
Bookmark
Share e360
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our feed:
rss


ABOUT

About e360
Contact
Submission Guidelines
Reprints

e360 video contest
Yale Environment 360 is sponsoring a contest to honor the best environmental videos.
Find more contest information.


DEPARTMENTS

Opinion
Reports
Analysis
Interviews
Forums
e360 Digest
Podcasts
Video Reports

TOPICS

Biodiversity
Business & Innovation
Climate
Energy
Forests
Oceans
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Sustainability
Urbanization
Water

REGIONS

Antarctica and the Arctic
Africa
Asia
Australia
Central & South America
Europe
Middle East
North America

E360 en Español

Universia partnership
Yale Environment 360 articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia, the online educational network.
Visit the site.

e360 MOBILE

Mobile
The latest
from Yale
Environment 360
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile.

e360 VIDEO

Warriors of Qiugang
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.


header image
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland. © Google & TerraMetrics.

e360 VIDEO

Colorado River Video
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.

 

OF INTEREST



Yale