As Trump Mulls Paris Climate Deal, Antarctica Could Soon Break Off A Delaware-Sized Iceberg
A long crevice that grows on the Larsen C ice shelf, one of Antarctica’s largest floating platforms appears to be near its end.
Researchers from the MIDAS project, which works at the University of Swansea and the University of Aberystwyth in Wales and study the platform by satellites and other techniques, have released a new update showing the crack has experienced an incredible 11,000 in the Space only one week between 25 and 31 May Now only 8 miles before an iceberg the size of Delaware is released in the Southern Ocean.
“There seems to be very little to prevent iceberg from breaking completely,” the researchers write.
Elsewhere in his message, they point out that the crack has yielded to the front of the ice shelf and the ocean, which means that when a breakthrough could happen “it’s probably very close.”
The researchers estimate that the section of ice planned to divide could be about 2,000 square miles of surface. The American state of Delaware is not much bigger than that.
“When you want the Larsen C ice platform you will lose more than 10% of its surface to allow the front-ice position withdrawn ever recorded, this event will fundamentally change the panorama of the Antarctic Peninsula,” write the MIDAS project team. “We have already shown that the new configuration would be less stable than previously, and Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbor Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 after a rupture induced childbirth event.”
The prospect of a huge iceberg floating in Antarctic seas could draw attention to the threat of climate change at a time when President Trump plans to break out of the Paris agreement to cut greenhouse gases.
An ice shelf is floating extension of a glacier that develops at home in the ocean. The loss of a large Larsen C iceberg does not raise sea level because the ice is already afloat. However, thinning and loss of ice shelves cause glaciers to flow faster in the sea, and ice is transferred from the top of groundwater, sea level will increase slightly.
However, there is not much ice celebrated at Larsen C as it is behind other glaciers in East and West Antarctica, which also began to lose mass during the last decades.