Global Warming:Early Warning Signs
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The impact of global warming in Antarctica

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Global Warming Hotspots Map

The impacts of warming temperatures in Antarctica are likely to occur first in the northern sections of the continent, where summer temperatures approach the melting point of water, 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Some ice shelves in the northernmost part of Antarctica -- the Antarctic Peninsula -- have been collapsing in recent years, consistent with the rapid warming trend there since 1945. Scientists are also concerned about future changes in the large West Antarctic ice sheet on the main continent because its collapse could raise sea level by as much as 19 feet.

Fingerprints

70. Antarctic Peninsula -- Warming 5 times global average. Since 1945, the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a warming of about 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The annual melt season has increased by 2 to 3 weeks in just the past 20 years.

73. Antarctica -- Ice shelf disintegration. The 770 square mile Larsen A ice shelf disintegrated suddenly in January 1995.

74. Antarctica -- Ice shelf breakup. After 400 years of relative stability, nearly 1,150 square miles of the Larson B and Wilkins ice shelves collapsed between March 1998 and March 1999.

Harbingers

32. Antarctica -- Penguin population decline. Adelie Penguin populations have shrunk by 33 percent during the past 25 years in response to declines in their winter sea ice habitat.


The following organizations produced GLOBAL WARMING: Early Warning Signs:
Environmental Defense Fund
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sierra Club
Union of Concerned Scientists
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
World Resources Institute
World Wildlife Fund

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73. Antarctica -- Ice shelf disintegration 74. Antarctica -- Ice shelf breakup 32. Antarctica -- Penguin population decline 70. Antarctica Peninsula -- Warming 5 times global average. 73. Antarctica -- Ice shelf disintegration. 74. Antarctica -- Ice shelf breakup. 32. Antarctica -- Penguin population decline. 70. Antarctic Peninsula -- Warming 5 times global average.