Songs of Science #4: British Sea Power

20 Jan

In 2002, a huge chunk of the Larsen Ice Shelf – “Larsen B” – collapsed into the sea. In just over a month, an area the size of the US state Rhode Island vanished from the Antarctic Peninsula – the most dramatic ice shelf disintegration ever recorded.

Scientists attributed this collapse to a series of warm summers, which led to increased air temperatures and the formation of meltwater ponds on the shelf’s surface. This water flowed down through cracks in the ice, helping to lever it apart and bring about its downfall.

The Larsen B ice shelf, before (left) and after (right) its collapse in early 2002 (credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

The lovably eccentric band British Sea Power paid tribute to this defunct ice shelf on their 2005 album Open Season. “Oh Larsen B” features the glorious lyrics: “You’re fractured and cold but your heart is unbroken / My favourite foremost coastal Antarctic shelf / Oh Larsen B, oh you can fall on me / Oh Larsen B, desalinate the barren sea”.

And the music is equally glorious – one of British Sea Power’s trademark anthems, all buzzsaw guitars and breathy vocals. In fact, it’s probably the best love song to a collapsed ice shelf ever written…

Click here to read all of the previous “Songs of Science” posts.
About these ads

2 Responses to “Songs of Science #4: British Sea Power”

  1. Joanne Seale January 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Beautiful artcle.. Thanks for sharing..

  2. thesoftanonymous January 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    Thanks Joanne…hope you enjoyed the song.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: