Roundup: Collapsing Ice Shelves, Oil Spills, and New Zealand

The Implications of Collapsing Antarctic Ice Shelves

From Cryosphere Discuss: “Ice shelf break-up and disintegration events over the past several decades have led to speed-up, thinning, and retreat of upstream tributary glaciers and increases to rates of global sea-level rise. The southward progression of these episodes indicates a climatic cause, and in turn, suggests that the larger Larsen C and George VI ice shelves may undergo similar collapse in future. However, the extent to which removal of Larsen C and George VI ice shelves will affect upstream tributary 5 glaciers and add to global sea levels is unknown.”

Read more about the collapse of Larsen C and George VI ice shelves here.

George VI Ice Shelf from Alexander Island (Source: AntarcticGlaciers.org)
George VI Ice Shelf from Alexander Island (Source: AntarcticGlaciers.org).

Effects of future Oil Spills in the Arctic

From Science of the Total Environment Journal: “New economic developments in the Arctic, such as shipping and oil exploitation, bring along unprecedented risks of marine oil spills. Microorganisms have played a central role in degrading and reducing the impact of the spilled oil during past oil disasters. However, in the Arctic, and in particular in its pristine areas, the self-cleaning capacity and biodegradation potential of the natural microbial communities have yet to be uncovered.”

Learn more about marine oil spills in the Arctic here.

Biodegradation of oil spills in arctic specific environments (Image Source: Science of the Total Environment Journal)
Biodegradation of oil spills in arctic specific environments (Source: Science of the Total Environment Journal).

New Zealand’s Glaciers Are In Trouble

From Radio New Zealand: “Climate scientists and glaciologists from NIWA and Victoria University of Wellington have just completed their annual end of summer snowline flight over nearly 50 glaciers in the Southern Alps. They report that the summer’s marine heatwave has left the ice giants in ‘sad shape.’”

Find out more about how the New Zealand glaciers are in danger after a marine heatwave here.

New Zealand Southern Alps (Source: Radio New Zealand)
New Zealand Southern Alps (Source: Radio New Zealand).

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