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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Antarctic Iceberg Size of Delaware Could Break Off in Weeks

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CIARA O’ROURKE  Feb 9, 2017 02:50 PM ET see full article here

Scientists are eyeing a growing crack in one of Antarctica’s ice shelves. A portion of the Larcen C shelf the size of Delaware could break off in months, or even weeks — an event that could signal the impending collapse of another of the southernmost continent’s ice shelves and an ominous sign of the impacts of a warming planet.

While that wouldn’t contribute to sea level rise around the world, ice shelves act as breaks for the flow of land ice, which lies behind them. Without ice shelves in their paths, glaciers slide more easily into the oceans, which would push up global sea levels.

The crack in the Larsen C shelf, already more than 100 miles long and slicing through 820 feet of ice, grew another six miles in just three weeks last month. Only 12 miles of ice connects the portion that’s at risk of breaking off from the rest of the shelf….

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