Geographic Information Systems

7:3

Ice shelf retreat on the Antarctic Peninsula

The example uses ArcMap to investigate the collapse of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula in relation to climate variables. Ice shelves are the floating extensions of a grounded ice sheet. Although a few small ice shelves exist in the Arctic, most occupy bays around the coast of Antarctica. Over many decades ice shelves find their natural size when the amount of snow falling on the surface, and the amount ice delivered by glaciers, balances the rate of ice loss through melting and iceberg calving. A change in any of these factors will cause an ice shelf to change its size to find a new equilibrium.

More information about Antarctic Peninsular ice shelves:

Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctic break-up!

"A chunk of ice the size of the Isle of Man has started to break away from Antarctica in what scientists say is further evidence of a warming climate."

Interactive diagram

screenshot of interactive diagram

 

 

British Antarctic SurveyRoyal Geographic SocietyForeign and Commonwealth OfficeBritish Antarctic Territory