Troubling Signs of Warming from the Poles

NWF   |   April 9, 2009

NSIDC Ice Bridge Wilkins Ice shelf The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported yesterday that in the Antarctic, an ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula to Charcot Island has collapsed. Researchers are now monitoring the remaining parts of Wilkins Ice Shelf to see if the loss of the ice bridge will cause the ice shelf to collapse further.

The loss of an ice shelf can cause the glaciers that feed into it to start flowing ice into the ocean at an accelerated rate, contributing to global sea level rise.

In the Arctic, National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite measurements of Arctic sea ice have found a 40 percent drop in multiyear sea ice between 2005 and 2007. This winter, the predominant type of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean is thin, first-year ice which melts and refreezes every year. Thicker ice, which lasts two or more years, now comprises just 10 percent of winter ice cover.

Global warming is the single biggest threat to wildlife. To learn more about what you can do this spring to help wildlife go to National Wildlife Federation’s Global Warming Policy Solutions Center.

Larry Schweiger

Published: April 9, 2009