As if you needed more evidence that the climate’s on thin ice. In Antarctica, an ice bridge that was holding the vast Wilkins Ice Shelf to the continent has collapsed. It’s likely Wilkins will soon follow.
The ice bridge has been retreating since the late 1990s. In 1950, it was almost 100km wide but, just before collapsing, its thinnest point was just 500 metres wide. The bridge acted as a brace for the massive Wilkins Ice Shelf, which is about half the size of Scotland and now threatens to break away completely from Antarctica. Scientists see this major event as evidence of rapid warming in the region.
Witness the Wilkins Ice Shelf collapse via European Space Agency’s Webcam from Space.
Moving at a glacial pace in Bonn
Climactic changes in Antarctica are happening much faster than scientists had predicted. If only the same could be said for progress towards a new global climate agreement. At the UN meeting in Bonn this week, negotiations to cut greenhouse emissions are moving at glacial pace.
Our senior climate campaigner, Trish Harrup, reports from the Bonn climate conference, ‘Governments are trying to avoid acting responsibly and bickering about who’s at fault. In particular, Australia must start to show some real leadership by tearing up its pathetic emissions reduction target and committing instead to halving our emissions in a decade.’
Without government action on climate change, we can expect more severe climate change impacts. The world’s negotiators at Bonn have one more week to show that they understand the threat and are ready and willing to act.