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Antarctica: Larsen Ice Shelf Side by Side Comparison

In 1978, scientists predicted that global warming would lead to a disintegration of Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves. Spaceborne data indicate that this prediction may be coming true. In these before and after images, note the dramatic change in the apparent shoreline. Scientists captured the first image using the ERS-1 satellite in 1992. As seen in the second image, collected by RADARSAT in 1997, huge changes have come to the coastline. In 1995, a 2000 square kilometer section of the ice shelf collapsed into thousands of fragments that eventually drifted out to sea. Researchers are still debating why the ice shelf broke up so dramatically, and what significance the break up has for interpreting local versus global changes to the environment. Theories include a series of warmer than usual summers which may have caused high levels of surface melting, or an overall climate warming trend.
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More information on this topic available at:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/stories/antarctica/index.html

A side by side comparsion of the Larsen Ice Shelf before (1992) and after (1997) the collapse in 1995.    A side by side comparsion of the Larsen Ice Shelf before (1992) and after (1997) the collapse in 1995.

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  720 x 486         JPEG     82 KB


Larsen Ice Shelf in 1992, prior to the collapse in 1995.    Larsen Ice Shelf in 1992, prior to the collapse in 1995.

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  720 x 486         TIFF   636 KB


Larsen Ice Shelf in 1997, after the collapse in 1995.    Larsen Ice Shelf in 1997, after the collapse in 1995.

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  720 x 486         TIFF   628 KB
  320 x 180         PNG     111 KB
  320 x 180         PNG     111 KB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?1400
Animation Number:1400
Completed:1999-11-08
Animators:Stuart A. Snodgrass (GST) (Lead)
 Marte Newcombe (GST)
Scientist:Ken Jezek (Ohio State University)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:RADARSAT-1/SAR (1997/09/26-1997/11/04)
 ERS-1 (1992)
Series:Antarctica
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Scientific Visualization Studio. Additional credit goes to Canadian Space Agency, RADARSAT International Inc.
 
Keywords:
DLESE >> Cryology
SVS >> Ice Shelf
SVS >> Larsen
GCMD >> Location >> Antarctica
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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