BLOGGER'S NOTE: I don't know what is up with this Wordie Ice Shelf business -- if you read this article, it is so vague that it says nothing, and the link to the USGS page is to an old publication, so I have no idea what is going on. I will update this post as more information becomes available -- right now, it is not making a whole lot of sense and sounds like old news from 2005.
~UPDATED INFO FROM FredT:
FredT has left a new comment on your post "Western Antarctica: Wordie Ice Shelf gone, Larsen...":
Well it seems the Wordie Ice shelf turned into Wordie Bay in 2004, but this pdf http://pubs.usgs.gov/imap/
I've also checked that Ken Salazar is the current US Secretary... just to be sure it wasn't a old post !!
OK, now I've got the story on http://www.doi.gov/news/09_
So this report is "The new report and map of the Larsen Ice Shelf are part of a project to research the coastal change and glaciological characteristics of the entire Antarctic margin."
Some Reuters "journalist" once again just caught one sentence out of 2...
There probably will be interesting things to read in this study - right now I'm following other links !
Wordie Ice Shelf gone, Larsen Ice Shelf nextReuters, Washington, April 4, 2009
ONE Antarctic ice shelf has quickly vanished, another is disappearing and glaciers are melting faster than anyone thought due to climate change, US and British government researchers said.
The Wordie Ice Shelf, which had been disintegrating since the 1960s, is gone and the northern part of the Larsen Ice Shelf no longer exists.
More than 8300 sq km have broken off from the Larsen shelf since 1986.
Climate change is to blame, according to the report from the US Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Survey, available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/imap/2600/B.
"The rapid retreat of glaciers there demonstrates once again the profound effects our planet is already experiencing -- more rapidly than previously known -- as a consequence of climate change," US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.
"This continued and often significant glacier retreat is a wakeup call that change is happening ... and we need to be prepared," USGS glaciologist Jane Ferrigno, who led the Antarctica study, said.
"Antarctica is of special interest because it holds an estimated 91 percent of the Earth's glacier volume, and change anywhere in the ice sheet poses significant hazards to society," she said.
In another report published in the journal Geophysical Letters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that ice is melting much more rapidly than expected in the Arctic as well, based on new computer analyses and recent ice measurements.
The UN Climate Panel projects that world atmospheric temperature will rise by between 1.8 °C and 4.0 °C because of emissions of greenhouse gases that could bring floods, droughts, heat waves and more powerful storms.
As glaciers and ice sheets melt, they can raise overall ocean levels and swamp low-lying areas.