Mar 26, 2008

Huge Antarctic Ice Chunk Collapses

A huge chunk of ice, bigger than the Isle of Manhattan, has started to collapse in Antarctica. Satellite images suggest that part of the ice shelf is disintegrating, and now it is hanging by a thread. Scientists has blamed Global Warming for this collapse.

Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 160-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica, which started Feb. 28. It was the edge of the Wilkins ice shelf and has been there for hundreds, maybe 1,500 years.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf has been stable for most of the last century, but began retreating in the 1990s. Scientists say the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced unprecedented warming over the last 50 years. According to British Antarctic Survey (BAS), six ice shelves in the same part of the continent have already been lost.

Since an ice shelf is a floating platform of ice, the break-up will have no impact on sea level. But scientists say it heightens concerns over the impact of climate change on this part of Antarctica.


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