Rift Cutting Through Massive Larsen C Ice As Shelves Melt From Below

Rift Cutting Through West Antarctic Shelf Grew By 11 Miles In December, Leaving Only About 12 Miles To Go


A 100 meter wide, half a mile deep fissure is cutting off Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf like a giant knife slicing through butter, following in the path of Larsen A and B shelves, both of which have broken away from the mainland in the past 20 years.  The 2000 sq mile shelf, which is about the size of Delaware, is expected to collapse into the sea within a month or two. The ice shelf is about 2000 sq mi, or about the size of Delaware. It will join the Larsen A and Larsen B shelves on the West Antarctica Peninsula, which have broken off an collapsed into the sea within the past 20 years.

In East Antarctica, once believed stable, the Totten Glacier has destabilized and crossed the point of no return. In Greenland, the Peterson ice shelf is undergoing the same rapid change.

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