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Antarctic ice shelf is breaking up

An increase in ice melt in polar regions is a contributor to rising sea levels across the world [AFP]

Breaking Earth News

Western Antarctica


A section of Antarctica's largest ice shelf is disintegrating, satellite images have shown and global warming is thought to be the cause.

An iceberg measuring 41km by 2.4km broke off the southwestern front of the Wilkins ice shelf on February 28, images obtained by the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) showed.

That led to further disintegration of the shelf's interior, of which 414 square km has already disappeared.

As a result, a large part of the 12,950 square km shelf is now supported by a 5.6km strip of ice between two islands, Ted Scambos, the NSIDC's lead scientist, said in a statement.

"If there is a little bit more retreat, this last 'ice buttress' could collapse and we'd likely lose about half the total ice shelf area in the next few years," he said.

Are you concerned about Antarctica's melting ice or mountain glaciers Disappearing?

Although the disintegration will not have an impact on sea levels, scientists are concerned because it shows that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting at a faster rate than expected.

Are you concerned about the collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet? Do you believe that our climate is changing as a result of human activity? What, if anything, can be done to limit the damage?

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