Global Warming

Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf Rift Growing Rapidly

The large rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf that we reported on a few weeks ago has continued to grow at a rapid rate since then, with a further 10 kilometres of length added since January 1st according to the researchers at the MIDAS Project.

The rift continues to run parallel to the shelf edge, though, so the distance holding the iceberg to the shelf (20 kilometres) remains the same as the last time that we reported on it. Obviously, though, as the images below show, even if the rift continues to run parallel, it will inevitability lead to an iceberg calving event.

This matters because, according to the researchers at the MIDAS Project, once the 5,000 sq. km iceberg calves, it will destabilize the whole Larsen C Ice Shelf — possibly leading to the disintegration of the whole ice shelf. The Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegrated in 2002 following a similar event as the one occurring now.

Rift map 2017 01 19 570x479

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s