Sentinels of climate change

September 29, 2010
An Antarctic iceberg. Scientists estimate West Antarctica is losing between 60 and 150 billion tons of ice per year.

Ice currently covers more than 10 percent of our watery planet, yet its volume is continuing to decline at a staggering pace in response to our warming world.

A new interactive tool lets you take a close-up tour of some of the places around our planet where is taking a toll on Earth’s ice cover, including:

• Greenland, where the massive Ilulissat Glacier is depositing 35 to 50 cubic kilometers of icebergs into the ocean each year, raising (a cubic kilometer is about
264.2 billion gallons, enough to fill 400,000 Olympic-size pools)
• The Arctic, where sea ice continues to decline in both area and volume
• Antarctica, where massive ice shelves the size of some small U.S. states have collapsed in recent years

Experience the Global Ice Viewer:

Explore further: NASA survey confirms climate warming impact on polar ice sheets

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3 / 5 (2) Sep 29, 2010
Make a couple million high-altitude airships with white hulls and have them hoist huge sheets of reflective fabric above the poles.
5 / 5 (1) Sep 29, 2010
I'm sorry, but this doesn't make much sense. Glaciers move down hill because of their weight. When they get bigger they move faster. When they reach the ocean pieces break off to make ice bergs. That isn't a sign of global warming.

Glaciers gain or lose mass depending on the relative rates of new snow and sleet versus the rate of melting and sublimation. They lose or gain mass all along their length, not through calving of ice bergs. That's just part of the process that happens whether we are in the middle of an ice age or in the middle of a global warming crisis.

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