Document Detail

Stability of the Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula during the Holocene epoch.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16079842     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The stability of the Antarctic ice shelves in a warming climate has long been discussed, and the recent collapse of a significant part, over 12,500 km2 in area, of the Larsen ice shelf off the Antarctic Peninsula has led to a refocus toward the implications of ice shelf decay for the stability of Antarctica's grounded ice. Some smaller Antarctic ice shelves have undergone periodic growth and decay over the past 11,000 yr (refs 7-11), but these ice shelves are at the climatic limit of ice shelf viability and are therefore expected to respond rapidly to natural climate variability at century to millennial scales. Here we use records of diatoms, detrital material and geochemical parameters from six marine sediment cores in the vicinity of the Larsen ice shelf to demonstrate that the recent collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf is unprecedented during the Holocene. We infer from our oxygen isotope measurements in planktonic foraminifera that the Larsen B ice shelf has been thinning throughout the Holocene, and we suggest that the recent prolonged period of warming in the Antarctic Peninsula region, in combination with the long-term thinning, has led to collapse of the ice shelf.
Eugene Domack; Diana Duran; Amy Leventer; Scott Ishman; Sarah Doane; Scott McCallum; David Amblas; Jim Ring; Robert Gilbert; Michael Prentice
Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  436     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2005 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-08-04     Completed Date:  2005-08-22     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  681-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Geosciences, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York 13323, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Antarctic Regions
Carbon / analysis
Chlorophyll / analysis
Diatoms / metabolism
Geologic Sediments / chemistry
Greenhouse Effect
History, Ancient
Ice / analysis*
Ice Cover*
Marine Biology
Oceans and Seas
Oxygen / analysis,  chemistry
Oxygen Isotopes
Plankton / metabolism
Satellite Communications
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Ice; 0/Oxygen Isotopes; 1406-65-1/Chlorophyll; 479-61-8/chlorophyll a; 7440-44-0/Carbon; 7782-44-7/Oxygen

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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