Summary: Tears in Antarctic Ice

As was discussed in the abstract, there has been a net loss of ice around Antarctica throughout the past decades, and much of this ice loss is due to iceberg calving. The process of iceberg calving begins with rift propagation, which can be analogized similarly to tearing a piece of paper.

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Antarctic Temperature Approximating (WEEK 7)

As was discussed in the week 4 blog post, I suspect that warmer temperatures from the surface (lower portions of the atmosphere) directly above the Amery Ice Shelf contribute to weaker ice, and thus quicker rates of rift propagation. Luckily, unlike with the ocean temperature and sea ice concentration data, I did not have to download massive NetCDF files and extract data from them using Matlab code. I will discuss the approach I used below.

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A Circular Sea Ice Puzzle (WEEK 6)

As I mentioned two blog posts ago, I suspect that less surrounding sea ice concentration correlates with higher rates of rift propagation. To determine sea ice concentration (SIC), I downloaded a bunch of data sets that give SIC values (between 0 and 1) in areas of 50,000-by-50,000 meters, and I extracted the values from right around the Amery Ice Shelf. However, clipping the SICs proved to be much harder than clipping the ocean temperatures.

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Data in Four Dimensions (WEEK 5)

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, I suspect that warmer ocean temperatures correlate with higher rates of rift propagation. However, throughout the Amery Ice Shelf, the depths of it range from roughly 300 meters at the calving front (point at the end of the AIS, where ice typically breaks off from) to 1,200 meters at the calving front (point at which the ice is no longer attached to the underlying bedrock). Because I do not know how thick the ice is that directly surrounds the rift, I compiled as many relevant depths as I could that could be in contact with that specific portion of the AIS.

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The Culprits of the Rift (WEEK 4)

The first part of this project explores the how: how is the loose tooth fork rift on the Amery Ice Shelf changing over time? This is a question that I have outlined throughout the past three blog posts. Now, however, it is time to turn to the second part of this project – the why: why is the loose tooth fork rift experiencing the changes we have observed?

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