Antarctica and Global WarmingWhy is global warming in Antarctica important to the rest of the world?
According to professor Eugene Domack, "Antarctica is particularly sensitive to climate changes and ice shelves (like the Larsen B that disintegrated in 2002) are one part of the Antarctic system that are especially sensitive. This may be the 'canary in the mine' in terms of changes in our environment that have never before been seen in history or in the rock record." Scientists can take what they learn in Antarctica and make predictions for the rest of the world.
How significant is the breakup of the Larsen B ice shelf?
Domack says, "Bells should be ringing, in terms of global warming, in Washington, D.C." He explains that this is an unprecedented event. The break-up of the shelf, so fast and catastrophically, has never been recorded in history. Scientists look at the geologic record and can document these events in the past. This particular ice shelf, the Larsen B, doesn't seem to have ever experienced this kind of collapse in the last 10,000 years, that is since the last ice age.