From a reader, comes yet another article claiming micro-climate variations on the Antarctic Peninsula are indicative of global warming.
Images taken by its Envisat remote-sensing satellite show that Wilkins Ice Shelf is "hanging by its last thread" to Charcot Island, one of the plate’s key anchors to the Antarctic peninsula, ESA said in a press release.
"Since the connection to the island… helps stabilise the ice shelf, it is likely the breakup of the bridge will put the remainder of the ice shelf at risk," it said.
Wilkins Ice Shelf had been stable for most of the last century, covering around 16,000 square kilometres (6,000 square miles), or about the size of Northern Ireland, before it began to retreat in the 1990s.
No, No, No. The Antartic Peninsula’s climate is not indicative of the rest of Antarctica or the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, much less of the globe. Here, one more time, is the missing context:
The Antarctic Peninsula is a very small area that has very clearly been warming substantially over the last decades, but it represents only 2% of Antarctica
The rest of Antarctica has seen flat and even declining temperatures, as has the entire southern hemisphere. In fact, the Antarctic Peninsula is a very small area that is anomalous within the entire Southern Hemisphere, which makes it incredible that it so often is used as indicative of a global climate trend.
We have no clue how ice shelves behave over time spans longer than the 100 years we have watched them. It may well be they go through long-term natural growth and collapse cycles.