What Are Ice Shelves and Why Do They Keep Collapsing?

The last 30 years have been full of unusual ice shelf collapses and disintegrations across Antarctica, the Arctic, Greenland, and Canada.

Source: lin padgham


What's your favorite kind of shelf?

In March, news outlets everywhere rang alarm bells after the collapse of the Conger Ice Shelf — a mass of ice the size of Rome in East Antarctica. But what is an ice shelf? And why are they so important? This week, we explore what purpose ice shelves serve, why they collapse, and where we go from here. With special guest Dr. Peter Neff: Assistant Research Professor of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota.

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.

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Writers: Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Ethan Brown

Fact Checker: Ysabel Wulfing

Editor: Frank Hernandez

Producers: Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez

Ad Voiceover: Maddy Schmidt

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.


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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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