Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ice Shelf Collapse in Antarctic

Scientists have reported a large part of the Nansen ice shelf has broken off. Ice shelves are expanses of ice floating in the ocean. They are usually 100 to 900 meters thick. After collapsing, part of the shelf broke into two icebergs, which are now migrating north.

The icebergs are 150 square kilometers and 55 square kilometers in size. The larger one is about the size of Manhattan.

Ice shelves are particularly sensitive to climate change because they can melt from warm air at the surface and warming ocean waters below.
In 2014 a 30 kilometer long crack appeared in the ice shelf with melted glacier water running through it.
The break-up of ice shelves and glaciers worldwide could have a significant impact on sea levels. The phenomenon accelerates the migration and melting of the remaining glaciers in the Antarctic. Sea levels could rise more than 70 meters if all of the glaciers at the South Pole were to melt.