Ice shelves

Icebergs

Icebergs can be found floating freely in the ocean around the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, as well as in other areas with glaciers that end in the ocean. They can be important for the survival of many animals, such as polar bears in the Arctic or penguins in the Antarctic, but they can also …

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Choosing the future of Antarctica

In a new article in the journal Nature, Stephen Rintoul and colleagues present two very different visions of Antarctica’s future, from the perspective of an observer looking back from 2070. In one vision, humanity continues to exploit Earth’s natural resources (such as fossils fuels) and does little to protect the environment, and in the other, …

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George VI Ice Shelf

George VI Ice Shelf is a floating ice shelf between Alexander Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. This webpage is based on: Holt, T.O., Glasser, N.F., Quincey, D. and Siegfried, M.R., 2013. Speedup and fracturing of George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula. The Cryosphere, 7: 797-816. Holt, T., Glasser, N., Quincey, D., 2013. The structural glaciology …

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Glacier types

There are many different kinds of ice. Land ice is ice grounded on land, and above sea level. If this ice melts, it contributes to sea level rise. Glaciers and ice sheets are the most common kind of land ice. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is surrounded by many other kinds of ice. Sea ice is …

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The Larsen C Ice Shelf growing rift

Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves | Ice shelf collapse on the Antarctic Peninsula | Rifting on Larsen C | Impact of calving the large iceberg | Sea level rise following ice-shelf collapse | References | Comments | Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves The Antarctic Peninsula is fringed by floating ice shelves. They are floating extensions of the …

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Grounding Lines

What is a grounding line? Almost all of Antarctica is covered in ice. Less than 1% its land area is ice free. This means that, across Antarctica, almost all glaciers end in the ocean, whereupon they calve icebergs. These glaciers can be grounded, or can end in floating ice tongues or larger ice shelves. These …

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Shrinking ice shelves

This section is all about ice shelves. Ice shelves are floating ice, connected to the mainland. They receive ice from glaciers flowing into them from the mainland, from accumulation from snow directly onto the ice shelf, and from sea water freezing onto the bottom of the ice shelf. Most mass loss from the Antarctic continent …

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Ice shelves, icebergs and sea ice

Ice shelves | Icebergs | Sea ice | Further reading | References | Comments | Ice shelves An ice shelf is a floating extension of land ice. The Antarctic continent is surrounded by ice shelves. They cover >1.561 million km2 (an area the size of Greenland)[1], fringing 75% of Antarctica’s coastline, covering 11% of its …

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Glaciers and Climate

This section of the website highlights how glaciers interact with climate, and how changing climate is changing glaciers around the world today. Globally, glaciers are receding and shrinking in response to atmospheric warming. The signal is remarkably consistent across different continents and mountain ranges. Glaciers are a critical water resource in many mountain regions of …

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