Satellite imagery of the Antarctic shows that the Conger Ice Shelf collapsed into the ocean around March 15th. The ice shelf was approximately 1,200 sq km in surface area which is a similar size to Rome or New York City.
Ice shelves protect glaciers and ice sheets from melting and contributing to sea-level rise. The Conger is located in East Antarctica where ice shelf collapses are unprecedented. Until now, East Antarctica has always been viewed as relatively stable and less vulnerable to global warming compared to West Antarctica. Scientists are shocked and concerned as this is the first major ice shelf collapse in East Antarctica during human history. The collapse of the Conger Ice Shelf is linked to the unusually high temperatures in the region which recorded 40 degrees Celsius above seasonal averages.
Prof Matt King, University of Tasmania, warns that future climate warming caused by carbon emissions will cause much bigger ice shelf collapses which will drive up global sea levels.
‘Our carbon emissions will have an impact in Antarctica, and Antarctica will come back to bite the rest of the world’s coastlines and it may happen faster than we think.’Prof Matt King, University of Tasmania
A call for climate action
The collapse of the Conger Ice Shelf is another warning to act on climate change. We need to reduce our emissions but also adapt to inevitable changes as well as regenerate the living systems on which we depend. OnePlanet technology facilitates collaborative action towards a regenerative future. The graph database technology allows users to visualise the interconnections of their actions to make better decisions for both people and the planet more efficiently. To find out more, view our website here or watch our introductory video. To contact us directly, book a session with us or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.