Images snapped final week of the Antarctic Peninsula reveal a glittering panorama of ice and snow, topped by rugged mountains rising majestically within the distance. But no human captured the beautiful view — it was the work of machines.
Because of the mixed technological powers of satellites and climate stations scattered round the Antarctic Peninsula, researchers can now maintain tabs on the area’s shifting ice — which lately has undergone dramatic adjustments — from the consolation of their places of work.
AMIGOS 6, one in all many specialised climate stations staked across the area, took the above picture on April 24 and relayed it to a satellite tv for pc the identical day.
First deployed throughout the 2010-2011 Antarctic area season, every AMIGOS (Automated Met-Ice-Geophysics Commentary System) station is supplied with a thermometer, devices to measure wind pace and course and a digital camera to photograph its environment. Stations set out on the ice itself are geared up with GPS to watch adjustments within the circulation pace of Antarctic glaciers, that are primarily large rivers of ice.
The AMIGOS are congregated close to a spot that has been dwelling to sudden, catastrophic adjustments in Antarctica’s ice. In 2002, the Larsen B ice shelf — an unlimited, floating plain of ice bigger than Rhode Island — broke off from Antarctica’s shoreline, disintegrated into a military of icebergs and floated away in the midst of 35 days. (Ice cabinets are huge plates of ice that float on polar seas, however are linked to the shoreline by the land-bound glaciers that feed into them.)
The above picture exhibits the remaining stub of that ice shelf, which is labeled because the SCAR inlet calving entrance (calving is the method by which icebergs break off of ice cabinets).
The AMIGOS and the watchful satellites that sail overhead are serving to scientists monitor any additional adjustments within the area’s ice. When ice cabinets collapse, the glaciers that feed them pace up, dumping extra ice into the ocean and raising sea levels.
Sunny skies and westerly winds prevailed within the area when a NASA satellite tv for pc snapped the above picture on April 24, and temperatures rose nicely above freezing.
Nonetheless, the sudden heat spell was preceded by weeks of climate that was colder than ordinary. The ocean ice that’s choking the shoreline, labeled as quick ice within the picture, is a telltale signal of the current frigid temperatures.
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