Human-caused global warming was responsible for the collapse of an Antarctic ice shelf in 2002, scientists said today.
These winds are responsible for the summer warming that led to the collapse of the 1,255 square-mile northern Larsen B Ice shelf, the researchers note in this week’s Journal of Climate.
In the past 40 years, the average summer temperatures in the area have been around 36 degree Fahrenheit. However, on days when westerly winds force heated air over the ice-covered peninsula's mountain ranges, temperatures could reach 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
"This is the first time that anyone has been able to demonstrate a physical process directly linking the break-up of the Larsen Ice Shelf to human activity,” said lead author Gareth Marshall from the British Antarctic Survey. “Climate change does not impact our planet evenly - it changes weather patterns in a complex way that takes detailed research and computer modeling techniques to unravel.”
- Images: Blue Marble Art
- Waves from Top of the World Destroy Huge Iceberg at Bottom
- Global Warming or Just Hot Air? A Dozen Different Views
- Images: Ice of the Antarctic
- All About Global Warming
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.