What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by James Schrump » Sun, 18 May 2008 08:52:29


By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially circumpolar
cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are defined relevant to
lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is at approximately 75W and the
West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If one looks at a map of Antarctica, the
lines of longitude meet in the middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is
only a North coast; there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west
coast."

Don't take my word for it; look at a map that has lines of longitude on it
and tell me where the west coast of Antarctica is.

BTW, I am a cartographer by former profession, so I know whereof I speak.
What is spoken of as the "Western Antarctic" is a Northern Hemisphere
conceit; the image is described as if it were sitting at the mid-tropics of
the North and nowhere else.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Schrumpf                                 http://www.hilltopper.net

Let there be no doubt tonight -- no doubt!
That they shouldn't have played the Old Gold and Blue.
Not tonight!

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by Chris Bellom » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:10:39

James Schrumpf wrote, On 5/16/08 6:52 PM:

Quote:
> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially circumpolar
> cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are defined relevant to
> lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is at approximately 75W and the
> West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If one looks at a map of Antarctica, the
> lines of longitude meet in the middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is
> only a North coast; there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west
> coast."

Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
Everything right of it is eastern.

HTH.

cb

P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by James Schrump » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:15:49


Quote:
> James Schrumpf wrote, On 5/16/08 6:52 PM:
>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially
>> circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is at
>> approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If one
>> looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in the
>> middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is only a North coast;
>> there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."

> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
> opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
> you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
> Everything right of it is eastern.

> HTH.

> cb

> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

Yep.  Do that with Antarctica.  Now tell me which is the west side.

One can talk about the part of Antarctica that's in the Western Hemisphere,
but there is no "west side" of Antarctica.  Hint:  the East Coast of the US
is also in the Western Hemisphere.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Schrumpf                                 http://www.hilltopper.net

Let there be no doubt tonight -- no doubt!
That they shouldn't have played the Old Gold and Blue.
Not tonight!

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by Chris Bellom » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:19:34

James Schrumpf wrote, On 5/16/08 7:15 PM:

Quote:

>> James Schrumpf wrote, On 5/16/08 6:52 PM:
>>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially
>>> circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is at
>>> approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If one
>>> looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in the
>>> middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is only a North coast;
>>> there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."
>> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
>> opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
>> you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
>> Everything right of it is eastern.

>> HTH.

>> cb

>> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

> Yep.  Do that with Antarctica.  Now tell me which is the west side.

The side that gets western longitude designations.

Quote:
> One can talk about the part of Antarctica that's in the Western Hemisphere,
> but there is no "west side" of Antarctica.  Hint:  the East Coast of the US
> is also in the Western Hemisphere.

The US isn't centered, more or less, on the prime meridian and antimeridian.

Not to be snide, but I honestly can't see where this is hard
for you.

cb

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by James Schrump » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:23:51


Quote:
> James Schrumpf wrote, On 5/16/08 7:15 PM:

>>> James Schrumpf wrote, On 5/16/08 6:52 PM:
>>>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially
>>>> circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>>>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is
>>>> at approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If
>>>> one looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in the
>>>> middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is only a North coast;
>>>> there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."
>>> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
>>> opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
>>> you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
>>> Everything right of it is eastern.

>>> HTH.

>>> cb

>>> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

>> Yep.  Do that with Antarctica.  Now tell me which is the west side.

> The side that gets western longitude designations.

>> One can talk about the part of Antarctica that's in the Western
>> Hemisphere, but there is no "west side" of Antarctica.  Hint:  the East
>> Coast of the US is also in the Western Hemisphere.

> The US isn't centered, more or less, on the prime meridian and
> antimeridian.

Well, that is my point.

Quote:

> Not to be snide, but I honestly can't see where this is hard
> for you.

> cb

It's not hard for me.  I just like ***ing about stuff like this.

I was one of those people who insisted that the 21st century didn't start
until 2001.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Schrumpf                                 http://SportToday.org/

Let there be no doubt tonight -- no doubt!
That they shouldn't have played the Old Gold and Blue.
Not tonight!

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by Edward M. Kenned » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:35:52


Quote:
>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is at approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very
>> roughly).  If one looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in the middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is
>> only a North coast; there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."

> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
> you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
> Everything right of it is eastern.

> HTH.

> cb

> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

Time to get the hell out of there.

--Tedward

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by James Schrump » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:39:26


Quote:

>>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially
>>> circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is
>>> at approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If
>>> one looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in the
>>> middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is only a North coast;
>>> there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."

>> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
>> opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces you,
>> with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western. Everything
>> right of it is eastern.

>> HTH.

>> cb

>> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

> Time to get the hell out of there.

> --Tedward

I ignored that question before, but it actually points out the quandry I
raised.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Schrumpf                                 http://www.hilltopper.net

Let there be no doubt tonight -- no doubt!
That they shouldn't have played the Old Gold and Blue.
Not tonight!

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by Edward M. Kenned » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:41:08


Quote:
>>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially
>>> circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is at
>>> approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If one
>>> looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in the
>>> middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is only a North coast;
>>> there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."

>> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
>> opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
>> you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
>> Everything right of it is eastern.

>> HTH.

>> cb

>> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

> Yep.  Do that with Antarctica.  Now tell me which is the west side.

> One can talk about the part of Antarctica that's in the Western Hemisphere,
> but there is no "west side" of Antarctica.  Hint:  the East Coast of the US
> is also in the Western Hemisphere.

If you take a few steps from the South pole, you'll clearly end up in one
time zone or another.  If that time zone is the western hemisphere, you
are now pointed at the west coast of Antarctica.

Unless you're drunk and can't walk a straight line, of course.

--Tedward

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by James Schrump » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:48:21


Quote:

>>>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially
>>>> circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>>>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is
>>>> at approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If
>>>> one looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in the
>>>> middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is only a North coast;
>>>> there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."

>>> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
>>> opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
>>> you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
>>> Everything right of it is eastern.

>>> HTH.

>>> cb

>>> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

>> Yep.  Do that with Antarctica.  Now tell me which is the west side.

>> One can talk about the part of Antarctica that's in the Western
>> Hemisphere, but there is no "west side" of Antarctica.  Hint:  the East
>> Coast of the US is also in the Western Hemisphere.

> If you take a few steps from the South pole, you'll clearly end up in
> one time zone or another.  If that time zone is the western hemisphere,
> you are now pointed at the west coast of Antarctica.

> Unless you're drunk and can't walk a straight line, of course.

> --Tedward

We've all had a good laugh at this, because obviously what scientists call
"Western Antarctica" is the part that lies in the Western Hemisphere.  
However, this does not define a "west coast" of Antarctica.

By all means, start at the South Pole and take a few steps North.  Of
course, _every_ direction from the South Pole is North, so choose at
random:  walk north along Longitude 100 W for a few meters.

Now stop.  You're standing on 100W facing North; turn left (west) and start
walking.  Keep walking west along the line of Latitude S 90 - [a few
meters].  After [a few meters] * 3.14, you will return to your starting
point.  Did you ever reach the West Coast of Antarctica?

No.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Schrumpf                                 http://www.hilltopper.net

Let there be no doubt tonight -- no doubt!
That they shouldn't have played the Old Gold and Blue.
Not tonight!

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by E.F. Hoki » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:49:32

Quote:
On Fri, 16 May 2008 19:23:51 -0500, James Schrumpf wrote...
> I was one of those people who insisted that the 21st century didn't start
> until 2001.

Douglas Adams would like a word with you.

--
E.F. Hokie

<insert witty or profound quote here>

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by Chris Bellom » Sun, 18 May 2008 09:50:24

James Schrumpf wrote, On 5/16/08 7:23 PM:

Quote:
> I was one of those people who insisted that the 21st century didn't start
> until 2001.

So was I! We should hang out.

cb

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by James Schrump » Sun, 18 May 2008 10:23:14


Quote:
> On Fri, 16 May 2008 19:23:51 -0500, James Schrumpf wrote...

>> I was one of those people who insisted that the 21st century didn't start
>> until 2001.

> Douglas Adams would like a word with you.

If he disagreed, he was wrong.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Schrumpf                                 http://www.hilltopper.net

Let there be no doubt tonight -- no doubt!
That they shouldn't have played the Old Gold and Blue.
Not tonight!

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by James Schrump » Sun, 18 May 2008 10:24:08


Quote:
> James Schrumpf wrote, On 5/16/08 7:23 PM:

>> I was one of those people who insisted that the 21st century didn't start
>> until 2001.

> So was I! We should hang out.

> cb

Come on up to Baltimore and we'll take the sailboat for crabcakes at the
Inner Harbor.  Slick will eat his heart out.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Schrumpf                                 http://www.hilltopper.net

Let there be no doubt tonight -- no doubt!
That they shouldn't have played the Old Gold and Blue.
Not tonight!

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by Edward M. Kenned » Sun, 18 May 2008 10:45:17


Quote:
>>>>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially
>>>>> circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>>>>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US is
>>>>> at approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very roughly).  If
>>>>> one looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in the
>>>>> middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is only a North coast;
>>>>> there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."

>>>> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
>>>> opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
>>>> you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
>>>> Everything right of it is eastern.

>>>> HTH.

>>>> cb

>>>> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south pole?

>>> Yep.  Do that with Antarctica.  Now tell me which is the west side.

>>> One can talk about the part of Antarctica that's in the Western
>>> Hemisphere, but there is no "west side" of Antarctica.  Hint:  the East
>>> Coast of the US is also in the Western Hemisphere.

>> If you take a few steps from the South pole, you'll clearly end up in
>> one time zone or another.  If that time zone is the western hemisphere,
>> you are now pointed at the west coast of Antarctica.

>> Unless you're drunk and can't walk a straight line, of course.

>> --Tedward

> We've all had a good laugh at this, because obviously what scientists call
> "Western Antarctica" is the part that lies in the Western Hemisphere.
> However, this does not define a "west coast" of Antarctica.

> By all means, start at the South Pole and take a few steps North.  Of
> course, _every_ direction from the South Pole is North, so choose at
> random:  walk north along Longitude 100 W for a few meters.

> Now stop.  You're standing on 100W facing North; turn left (west) and start
> walking.  Keep walking west along the line of Latitude S 90 - [a few
> meters].  After [a few meters] * 3.14, you will return to your starting
> point.  Did you ever reach the West Coast of Antarctica?

Yes, because I don't feel the need to play geometry games with a sphere.
I turned left, west, and kept walking in a straight line, reaching the west
coast of Antarctica.  Depending on Antarctica's shape, I just crossed about
a quarter of the world's time zones.

--Tedward

 
 
 

What the hell is the "Western Antarctic Ice Shelf" (WAIS)

Post by James Schrump » Sun, 18 May 2008 10:56:12


Quote:

>>>>>> By a strange fact of geography, a continent that is essentially
>>>>>> circumpolar cannot have a "western" side.  "East" and "west" are
>>>>>> defined relevant to lines of longitude:  the East Coast of the US
>>>>>> is at approximately 75W and the West Coast at 125W (very roughly).
>>>>>> If one looks at a map of Antarctica, the lines of longitude meet in
>>>>>> the middle.  In Antarctica, essentially there is only a North
>>>>>> coast; there's no spot on the coast one can call the "west coast."

>>>>> Draw a line around the globe on the prime meridian and its polar
>>>>> opposite at 180*. Rotate the globe such that the south pole faces
>>>>> you, with Africa at top. Everything left of the line is western.
>>>>> Everything right of it is eastern.

>>>>> HTH.

>>>>> cb

>>>>> P.S. You missed the real question. What time is it on the south
>>>>> pole?

>>>> Yep.  Do that with Antarctica.  Now tell me which is the west side.

>>>> One can talk about the part of Antarctica that's in the Western
>>>> Hemisphere, but there is no "west side" of Antarctica.  Hint:  the
>>>> East Coast of the US is also in the Western Hemisphere.

>>> If you take a few steps from the South pole, you'll clearly end up in
>>> one time zone or another.  If that time zone is the western
>>> hemisphere, you are now pointed at the west coast of Antarctica.

>>> Unless you're drunk and can't walk a straight line, of course.

>>> --Tedward

>> We've all had a good laugh at this, because obviously what scientists
>> call "Western Antarctica" is the part that lies in the Western
>> Hemisphere. However, this does not define a "west coast" of Antarctica.

>> By all means, start at the South Pole and take a few steps North.  Of
>> course, _every_ direction from the South Pole is North, so choose at
>> random:  walk north along Longitude 100 W for a few meters.

>> Now stop.  You're standing on 100W facing North; turn left (west) and
>> start walking.  Keep walking west along the line of Latitude S 90 - [a
>> few meters].  After [a few meters] * 3.14, you will return to your
>> starting point.  Did you ever reach the West Coast of Antarctica?

> Yes, because I don't feel the need to play geometry games with a sphere.
> I turned left, west, and kept walking in a straight line, reaching the
> west coast of Antarctica.  Depending on Antarctica's shape, I just
> crossed about a quarter of the world's time zones.

> --Tedward

If you don't want to suffer spherical geometry you are't serious about
cartography.  When you turned left, and kept walking "in a straight line"
(and every circumnavigator from Magellan on up is laughing at you), you
ended up at the north coast of Antarctica, because there is no other.

I told you I was a professional cartographer -- so listen to me now and
believe me later:  THERE IS NO WEST COAST OF ANTARCTICA in any real sense.    

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Schrumpf                                 http://www.hilltopper.net

Let there be no doubt tonight -- no doubt!
That they shouldn't have played the Old Gold and Blue.
Not tonight!