The Intersection

Losing The Tenth Ice Shelf

The Antarctic Wilkins Ice Shelf hangs by a thread. Its thinnest point is now reported at 500 metres wide and it could go at any time according to David Vaughan, a glaciologist with the British Antarctic Survey. This will be the tenth shelf lost because of a warmer planet.

Look folks, the ‘debate‘ on climate change is over and we cannot afford to sit idly by while ‘observing the effects‘ (an analogy to Nero comes to mind). In the name of national security, it’s past time to move beyond lip service by making plans to adapt and prepare ourselves.


  1. #1 Cal Harth
    January 22, 2009

    Let’s hope that our new president can get the climate-change contrarians sidelined soon. I am not optimistic that they will even acknowledge the dramatic changes going on with Antarctic climate and glacial ice volume. The differences in average temperatures between East and West Antarctica seem to have escaped their notice too.
    I am concerned that changes in sea level may occur more rapidly than anyone anticipates.

  2. #2 Sciencefan
    January 22, 2009

    How realistically scary is this?
    Why don’t you forward this on to President Obama’s people..

  3. #3 Nero
    January 22, 2009

    If it falls off, can I dance on it?

  4. #4 Stefan Jones
    January 22, 2009

    Hey. Now there’s an idea. Encourage climate change skeptics to stage a big ol’ happy dance on a threatened ice sheet.

    To, you know, prove there’s nothing to worry about.

    Good for the leopard seals too.

  5. #5 M. Simon
    January 22, 2009

    If China and India do not get on board nothing the USA does will matter. And USA is reducing CO2 emissions while Europe is increasing with Italy planning a whole bunch of new coal fired power plants as is Germany (because they hate nukes).

    The oceans have been cooling for 6 years. Global temperatures have been falling since 2007 and flat since 1999-2006.

    The head of the IPCC is predicting cooling until 2015 or 2020. The latest computer models which include the PDO and other ocean currents predict cooling.

    And if we are at the start of an ice age working to cool the planet is the last thing we want to do.

    And the science is not settled: Ice Sheets

  6. #6 M. Simon
    January 22, 2009

    Ice sheets are eroded by ocean water. The Planet could be cooling and ice would still break off big sheets. More so if the sheets are bigger because of cooling.

  7. #7 George Leroy Tirebiter
    January 22, 2009

    M. Simon,
    Sounds like you think you have it all figured out. Blame China and India first. Ignore the concensus opinion of the overwhelming majority of the climate scientists, and the huge amount of data which supports their conclusions.
    Pretend that you have not heard predictions of losing all of the Arctic sea ice maybe by next summer.
    I hope you can breath OK while you have your head buried in sand.

  8. #8 cope
    January 23, 2009

    Mr. Simon,

    You are unlikely to score many points if your posts contain factual errors. For instance, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2007 (the last year for which complete figures are available) INCREASED by 1.3% to a total of 5.98 billion metric tons, the highest total ever.

    I’ll leave it to someone else to uncover other falsehoods in your post.

  9. #9 Ashutosh
    January 23, 2009

    We should reject as false the binary choice between “India & China OR the US”. It’s got to be AND. As Thomas Friedman says in his latest book “Hot, Flat and Crowded”, here’s one way in which we can do this; India and China always copy the US when it comes to leading technologies. If the US heavily invests in clean technologies and makes its economy less dependent on fossil fuels, not only would this spur India and China to follow the example, but it would lend much more credibility and moral authority to the US.

  10. #10 Ashutosh
    January 23, 2009

    “In the name of national security”

    And I would go a step further and say “In the name of Zeus”. His wrath will descend upon us in plentitude if we don’t act soon.

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