Saturday, June 3, 2017

Larsen C: What will happen when the huge Antarctic ice shelf cracks?

A massive crack in one of Antarctica's largest ice shelves is very close to breaking point, and when it fractures it will create an iceberg bigger than Kangaroo Island.

The rift in the Larsen C ice shelf has
 accelerated over the past month.
The Larsen C ice shelf is located on the Antarctic Peninsula, which juts out towards South America.
A large fracture, which has been growing across the ice sheet for decades, has recently started to accelerate, said Sue Cook, a glaciologist from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre.

According to the latest data by a team of UK scientists, the fracture ripped open by 17 kilometres in the last week of May and turned towards the ocean.

Dr Cook said the lengthening fracture was within 13 kilometres of the sea, and there was nothing to stop it fracturing.

When it breaks it will create an iceberg of 5,000 square kilometres.


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