Ice in the Antarctic: A Bad Break-Up

It’s official: There is now direct evidence that human activity was behind the warm temperatures that caused the Antarctic ice shelf collapse of 2002, according to a new study by the British Antarctic Survey and several other climate research groups.

Years ago, warm winds were too weak to make it over the Antarctic Peninsula’s mountain chain. But because of global warming, in recent years, the winds have swept through the mountains, causing summer temperatures to rise significantly in the Antarctic. In 2002, the warmer climate allowed melted glacial water to seep into the cracks in the shelf, which ultimately caused the shelf to break.

The winds of change are indeed blowing—literally. And they’re feeling much too hot for our liking.