Friday 14 July 2017

One of the Largest Icebergs ever recorded breaks off from Antarctica, why it matters?

And now its broken…

Just a month after the United States of America through its President Donald Trump withdrew from the historic and ambitious Paris Climate agreement- a Delaware-sized iceberg, one of the largest ever seen, has broken off the Larsen-C ice shelf in Antarctica.
The iceberg is one of the largest ever recorded, and will forever change the outline of the Antarctic Peninsula Forever(photo: Reuters)

Scientist have described such outcome as ”spawning one of the largest icebergs on record and changing the outline of the Antarctic Peninsula forever”.

“The iceberg weighs more than a trillion tons, but it was already floating before it calved away so has no immediate impact on sea level,” said a team of researchers from the MIDAS Antarctic research project.

The giant iceberg would be probably be named A68.

The crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, finally broke through after inching its way across the frozen formation in years. The iceberg is about 5,800 square kilometers, with a volume that of Lake Erie, which is considered one of the greatest North American Great Lakes.

“The calving of this iceberg leaves the Larsen C ice shelf reduced in area by more than 12 percent, and the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula changed forever,” the team added. It is believed the actual separation happened between Monday and Wednesday.

There is a theory that global warming has accelerated the process of the calving of ice shelves which happens normally in nature- it’s a regular occurrence in Antarctica. Warmer ocean water melts the underbelly of the ice shelves, while the rising air temperatures weaken them from above.

It is estimated by scientist that Antarctica contains enough ice to raise sea levels at around two hundred twenty feet (220), enough to drown coastal cities/islands.

Just as scientist around the world are still debating about the existence of Global Warming, we are now experiencing what could be a more clearer sign telling us that the world is already changing- a possible prelude to what could be more catastrophic if we don’t do anything-fast.

The Larsen C is Mother Nature's warning flag," polar explorer Robert Swan said at the Sun Valley Institute’s annual forum. “It’s her way of saying, ‘Hey, pay attention to what you’re doing to the planet we all live on.”
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