Sea ice around Antarctica hits record low as NASA captures the moment massive iceberg the size of Manhattan breaks away from giant glacier
Once again a single event is being hailed as proof of global warming. But you cannot logically do that. A global theory requires global evidence. You can have warming in one place while it is cooling elsewhere -- for no net effect. And it IS cooling elsewhere. I repeat once again the graph showing ice GROWTH in Greenland. The authors below slide around the Greenland data by saying: "At the other end of the planet, ice covering the Arctic Ocean has set repeated lows in recent years." It sure has -- in recent years but not this year. Greenies sure can be slippery.
And breaking ice shelves of course do not raise the water level by one iota. They are FLOATING ice. Check your Archimedes.
Also note that West Antarctica is normally more prone to melting than the rest of Antarctica -- probably due to greater subsurface vulcanism
Sea ice around Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest annual extent on record after years of resisting a trend of man-made global warming, preliminary U.S. satellite data has revealed.
Ice floating around the frozen continent usually melts to its smallest for the year around the end of February, the southern hemisphere summer, before expanding again as the autumn chill sets in.
This year, sea ice extent contracted to 2.287 million square kilometres (883,015 square miles) on Feb. 13, according to daily data from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
That extent is a fraction smaller than a previous low of 2.290 million sq kms (884,173 square miles) recorded on Feb. 27, 1997, in satellite records dating back to 1979.
It comes as NASA revealed stunning images of a huge area of ice breaking off from the Pine Island Glacier.
Pine Island Glacier is one of the main glaciers responsible for moving ice from the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to the ocean.
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured these images of Pine Island Glacier's floating edge before and after the recent break.
The top image shows the area on January 24, 2017, while the second image shows the same area on January 26.
About a kilometer or two of ice appears to have calved (broken off) from the shelf's front.
Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC, said he would wait for a few days' more measurements to confirm the record low.
'But unless something funny happens, we're looking at a record minimum in Antarctica. Some people say it's already happened,' he told Reuters.
'We tend to be conservative by looking at five-day running averages.'
In many recent years, the average extent of sea ice around Antarctica has tended to expand despite the overall trend of global warming, blamed on a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuels.
People sceptical of mainstream findings by climate scientists have often pointed to Antarctic sea ice as evidence against global warming. Some climate scientists have linked the paradoxical expansion to shifts in winds and ocean currents.
'We've always thought of the Antarctic as the sleeping elephant starting to stir. Well, maybe it's starting to stir now,' Serreze said.
World average temperatures climbed to a record high in 2016 for the third year in a row. Climate scientists say warming is causing more extreme days of heat, downpours and is nudging up global sea levels.
At the other end of the planet, ice covering the Arctic Ocean has set repeated lows in recent years.
Combined, the extent of sea ice at both ends of the planet is about 2 million sq kms (772,200 square miles) less than the 1981-2010 averages for mid-February, roughly the size of Mexico or Saudi Arabia.
The shocking new NASA images show the reality of the problem, as Pine Island Glacier has shed another block of ice into Antarctic waters.
The loss was tiny compared to the icebergs that broke off in 2014 and 2015, but the event is further evidence of the ice shelf's fragility.