Wednesday, July 12, 2017

An iceberg the size of Delaware just broke off Antarctica

An iceberg the size of Delaware has broken free from an Antarctic ice shelf, leaving the rest of the shelf vulnerable to collapse and serving as a harbinger of future sea-level rise that could pose a serious threat to coastal communities.

Marlene Cimons writes in Think Progress about
a massive chunk of ice breaking free from
an Antarctic ice shelf.
The break in the Larsen C ice shelfthe most northern major ice shelf in the region occurred Wednesday, according to Project MIDAS, a UK-based monitoring group.

Ice shelves are the thick, floating ice at the edge of the continent, and they serve as buttresses, keeping onshore glaciers from sliding into the sea. Researchers have been monitoring the rift in the Larsen C shelf for years and became alarmed in December when the breach widened dramatically. At one point this spring, the rift grew by 11 miles in less than a week, leaving only eight miles left and raising fears that a complete break was imminent. More than six months laterin the middle of the Antarctic winterthe break has occurred.

Read the Think Progress story by Marlene Cimons - “An iceberg the size of Delaware just broke off Antarctica.”

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