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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Scientists Discovered An Alarming Scenario On Antarctica

antartica, global warming

A colossal crack has been found around the Antarctic ice shelf Larsen C. Scientists believe that it will only take time before it finally falls down, making it one of the biggest icebergs on Earth.

Surprisingly, the size of this chunk of ice is double the size of the smallest country in Europe.

UK experts compared the size of the crack to the Shard- a 95-story high-rise building in Southwark, London, which supports the London Bridge Quarter development. The skyscraper’s height is 309.6 meters, a whopping 1,016 ft. high! This is very alarming.

The said iceberg, Larsen C, is the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica and based on reports, the crack has moved about 10 kilometers since the beginning of this year. As to date, the crack now measures 175 kilometers in length.

The iceberg will be the biggest one ever recorded once it finally separates from the ice shelf although the exact time of this occurrence is still unpredictable.

A long-term research program which aims to monitor the ice shelves is being conducted by specialists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). This is done to understand the causes and possible effects of the sudden changes seen and experienced in the area. The experts took some photographs as they survey the ice shelf and they also picked up science equipment from the place.

antartica, global warming

It will just take a couple of months before it reaches the ocean, all through the Weddel Sea. That was according to the scientists who checked and surveyed the area. To make things even worse, the size of the iceberg is almost double the size of the country Luxembourg.

What is the possible reason for this? Experts pointed out global warming as the root cause for the Larsen C’s crack.

Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the University of California, said that Irvine, the crack in Larsen C, has leveled up to a factor of eight.

An ice and ocean modeler at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Dr. Paul Holland, gave a statement. He said:
“Iceberg calving is a normal part of the glacier life cycle, and there is every chance that [the rest of] Larsen C will remain stable and this ice will regrow. 
“However, it is also possible that this iceberg calving will leave Larsen C in an unstable configuration. If that happens, further iceberg calving could cause a retreat of Larsen C.

“We won’t be able to tell whether Larsen C is unstable until the iceberg has calved and we are able to understand the behaviour of the remaining ice. 
“The stability of ice shelves is important because they resist the flow of the grounded ice inland. After the collapse of Larsen B, its tributary glaciers accelerated, contributing to sea-level rise.”

Written by Kent McGrath, Lucis Philippines contributor.

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