Pine Island is one of the largest and fastest-moving glaciers in Antarctica. Sometime between November 9 and November 11, 2013, a large iceberg separated from the front of Pine Island Glacier. The images below show how much of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, especially around Pine Island Glacier, is grounded well below sea level. In mid-October 2011, NASA scientists working in Antarctica discovered a massive crack across the Pine Island Glacier, a major ice stream that drains the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Story by Kathryn Hansen. Flight Center, NASA Earth Observatory (2012, February 29). Images were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite from 2000 to 2019. Snow and Ice PIG) The area of the iceberg poised to calve off the Pine Island Glacier is about 115 square miles, or 300 square kilometers. Increased rate of acceleration on Pine Island Glacier strongly coupled to changes in gravitational driving stress. & Cornford, S.L. (It is possible that the calving occurred one day prior, but clouds prevented a clear look.) Pine Island Glacier has long been on the radar screen of Antarcticresearchers. Ice-flow modelling studies have shown that it can undergo periods of rapid mass loss, but no study has shown that these future changes could cross a … You are correct, the Then/Now Glacier style features National Geographic photographs of the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters 36, L17501 (2009). Gladstone, R.M., Lee, V., Rougier, J., Payne, A.J., Hellmer, H., Le Brocq, A., Shepherd, A., Edwards, T.L., Gregory, J. If you examine the MODIS imagery are you sure about the July 2013 calving date, no separation occurred until November 2013? Kirshner, A.E., Anderson, J.B., Jakobsson, M., O’Regan, M., Majewski, W. & Nitsche, F.O. 25. The Pine Island Glacier (a.k.a. Pine Island Glacier is one of the largest ice streams in Antarctica. It’s acronym is PIG. Last month, scientists also recorded unusually warm water beneath the Thwaites Glacier, a neighbour to Pine Island. Inland thinning of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica. Nature Geoscience 3, 468-472 (2010). Journal of Glaciology 27: 518-525. As the ice shelf thins, more water is able to circulate beneath it22, exacerbating the problem and encouraging further melting. Mercer, J.H. Last month, scientists also recorded unusually warm water beneath the Thwaites Glacier, a neighbour to Pine Island. Science 299, 1560-1562 (2003). NASA Goddard Space Answer to: Where is the Pine Island Glacier? Mike Shortt working with scientists at the British Antarctic Survey is making a series of radar-based ice thickness measurements that resolve melting rates of the ice of periods of days to months. These data suggest that the recession of this ice stream was largely controlled by sea level rise, with a 55 m in sea level rise during deglaciation resulting in 225 km of grounding-line recession26. & Dutrieux, P. Stronger ocean circulation and increased melting under Pine Island Glacier ice shelf. It calved a large iceberg in 2001, and in 2011 a huge rift developed on the ice shelf. “Once satellite measurementsof Antarctica started to accumulate and we began to see which places werechanging, this area lit up as a spot where there was a large change going on,”Bindschadler said. For example, data collected during science flights in 2009 led researchers to discover a deep-water channel (map below) that could funnel warm water to the glacier’s underbelly and melt it from below. Jacobs, S.S., Jenkins, A., Giulivi, C.F. If icebergs calve off at a rate that matches the glacier’s acceleration, the ice front stays in the same place. The drill camp at the Pine Island Ice Shelf. Finally, scientists on board ships have deployed ‘Autosub’ beneath the very ice shelf, to make observations where no man can go. Pine Island Glacier: Satellite animation mid-2017 to Feb-2020 Date: February 11, 2020 Author: adrianluckman Updated animation showing the last three calving events as seen by ESA’s Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar. This melts the ice shelf from below24, and this melting is probably the cause of the observed ice stream thinning, acceleration and grounding line recession25, which is contributing to a sea level rise of 1.2 mm per decade3. | Pine Island Glacier ice shelf | Pine Island Glacier: the longer term view | Conclusions | References | Comments |. It is visible here on November 7, 2018, as observed by Landsat 8. The first reference to this being the weak underbelly is Hughes (1981). View All Images in This Event: Pine Island Glacier in Retreat. In the figure below, from Rignot et al. Joughin, I., Smith, B.E. PIG) The area of the iceberg poised to calve off the Pine Island Glacier is about 115 square miles, or 300 square kilometers. But over the long term at Pine Island, you can see that the ice front has retreated inland, which means the calving rate has increased more than the glacier has accelerated. Large cracks are forming farther upstream from the ice front than ever before—even in the middle of the ice shelf, where scientists had never previously seen them grow. NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. What is concerning is the current intense melting, thinning and glacier acceleration observed on Pine Island Glacier ice shelf22. And it's a … Can you identify the ice shelf? Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2017, Pine Island Glacier: the longer term view, difficult to assess how soon a collapse of Pine Island Glacier could occur, Antarctica’s contribution to global sea level rise, http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/pine-island-glacier-2013-iceberg-rift-update/, http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/is-pine-island-glacier-the-weak-underbelly-of-the-west-antarctic-ice-sheet/, Calculating glacier ice volumes and sea level equivalents. It is out of balance. The ice sheet in this area is grounded up to 2000 m below sea level, making it intrinsically unstable6 and susceptible to rapid melting at its base, and to rapid migration of the grounding line up the ice stream7 (see Marine Ice Sheet Instability). Scott, J.B.T., Gudmundsson, G.H., Smith, A.M., Bingham, R.G., Pritchard, H.D. Download . It suggests: & Padman, L. Antarctic ice-sheet loss driven by basal melting of ice shelves. The ice stream is steepening, which increases the gravitational driving stress, helping it to flow faster, and there is no indication that the glacier is approaching a steady state10. Pine Island Glacier calved icebergs in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018—and now, another one is getting ready to break free. Colours in addition show the flow speed. It is important that we take a longer-term perspective of the current changes observed on Pine Island Glacier. Nature 484, 502-505 (2012). Pine Island Glacier is of interest to scientists because it is changing rapidly; it is thinning, accelerating and receding3, all of which contribute directly to sea level, and its future under a warming climate is uncertain. It flows, together with Thwaites Ice Stream, into the Amundsen Sea embayment in West Antarctica, and the two ice streams together drain ~5% of the Antarctic Ice Sheet 1. Earth Matters: A Little More on That Ice Rift in Antarctica…. 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