Hallo, eco-conscious viewers, and welcome to another edition of Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. Antarctica’s land mass extends for more than １４-million square kilometers, ninety-eight percent of which is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet.
The continent accounts for ９０ percent of the world’s ice and ７２ percent of its freshwater reserves.
However, climate change is rapidly thawing this ice, and if the entire sheet were to melt, Earth’s sea level would rise ６０ to ７０ meters, an unimaginable outcome for all beings on the planet.
Recently the world’s attention has been drawn to the rapidly collapsing Wilkins Ice Shelf, a ４,０００-square-kilometer mass of floating ice in the western part of the Antarctic Peninsula.
A thin, ４０-kilometer ice bridge, the last piece keeping the Shelf in place, shattered in April ２００９, an event that is expected to cause the Shelf to disintegrate at an even faster rate.
To learn more about the effects of global warming on Antarctica, we spoke with Dr. Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center in the US.
Dr. Scambos’s research covers glaciology, remote sensing, geochemistry and planetary science. His current studies involve Antarctica’s ice sheet, ice shelves and sea ice.
He has briefed former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore on ice sheets and contributed to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report 『Climate Change ２００７: The Physical Science Basis.』 Dr. Scambos first discusses the collapse of the Wilkins Ice Shelf.nsidc.org/research/bios/scambos.html