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Tagged : bering-glacier


NASA space photos capture global warming’s dramatic impact

February 26th, 2010

Global warming skeptics have had a field day lampooning reported irregularities in data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — concluding that climate change is essentially a hoax. But NASA has just released dramatic images, some of which date back almost a decade, that stand as compelling evidence that the impact that humans have on our environment is having a profound impact on not only our weather patterns, but on the planet as well.

From floods and droughts to heat waves and ice melt, NASA says the impact of a warming world is being manifested ways that are clearly documented by its satellite cameras in space. These images are published with the permission of NASA. You can see a larger image on the NASA site by clicking the image:

wilkins_ice_shelf

Image taken on April 12, 2009 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite. (Photo: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is a thick slab of ice on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Since 2008, it has experienced several breakups. NASA says the ice began to rapidly retreat in February and in May another breakup occurred. Fresh cracks appeared on the shelf in late November 2008 and by the beginning of 2009, a narrow ice bridge was all that remained to connect the ice shelf to ice fragments fringing nearby Charcot Island. NASA reports that bridge gave way in early April 2009. This image was taken just days after the ice bridge rupture. “Since ice reflects light from the sun, as polar ice caps melt, less sunlight gets reflected into space,” NASA says. “It is instead absorbed by the ocean and land, increasing surface heat budgets and fueling further melting.”

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