The ice shits in Antarctica have thinned. Eagle Island is an island located in the north part of the peninsula and separated from the Antarctic mainland by the 1.77 km wide Aripleri Passage. It is one of several islands around the peninsula known as Graham Land, which is closer to South America than any other part of that continent.
In the last weeks, Eagle Island has shown troubling signs of fast ice melting. In less than two weeks, pictures taken there by NASA Landsat 8 satellite showed bright-blue melt ponds and exposed ground. Those are signs of severe melting.
Mauri Pelto, a glaciologist at Nichols College in Massachusetts said: “I haven’t seen melt ponds develop this quickly in Antarctica.” And the real trouble is that this is not an isolated case.
NASA satellite showed how Eagle Island of Antarctica melted
The ice in Antarctica holds 90% of the world’s freshwater. The ice in East Antarctica is thick – more than a mile thick on average – but it rests on high ground. Western Antarctica is much more vulnerable to change. It doesn’t rest on high ground, and it is way below sea level. If it weren’t for the ice, it would be a deep ocean with a few islands.
In the Antarctic Peninsula, each decade for the last five, the average temperature has risen by 0.5 °C. In 2006, the ice mass loss on the peninsula occurred at a rate of 60 billion tons/year. The greatest change occurring in the northern tip of the peninsula, where Eagle Island is. In the last two decades, even ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated or disintegrated.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been unable to determine the greatest potential effect on sea-level rise that glaciers in the region may cause.