Tuesday, February 07, 2017

An ice shelf is cracking

An ice shelf, which develops from runoff from glaciers, provide structural support to the glaciers that rest on land. If a shelf collapses, the glaciers behind it can accelerate toward the ocean. Scientists are reporting that a major ice shelf (the fourth largest) in the Antarctic (called Larsen C) has grown 17 miles since December. The crack in Larsen C now reaches over 100 miles in length, and some parts of it are as wide as two miles. The tip of the rift is currently only about 20 miles from reaching the other end of the ice shelf. Once the crack reaches all the way across the ice shelf, the break will create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded.

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