A huge piece of Larsen C Ice Shelf may break off in near future, just like its two other counterparts. Scientists from project MIDAS have been keeping a close watch on this part from past several years. Last December showed an obvious growth spurt in the rift, followed by a 10-km wide rift in January 2017 and some additional expansion in the month of May 2017.
Separating of this piece is going to make one of the biggest icebergs of the world. According to experts, this chunk of ice would be as big as the US state of Delaware. The rift is expanding continuously. In just a week it expanded to the width of 11 miles approx.
Scientists suggest it would take decades in complete separation and final collapse of this chunk from the whole ice sheet. The two other northern shelves i.e. Larsen A and B have already collapsed, back in the period between 1995 to 2002 respectively. Global warming is the key factor behind this natural phenomenon. Here is what Swansea scientists have to say about it;
“It is widely accepted that warming ocean and atmospheric temperatures have been a factor in earlier disintegrations of ice shelves elsewhere on the Antarctic Peninsula,”
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In the words of Dan McGrath, another US Geological Survey scientist;
“If Larsen C were to collapse, it would be concerning for its own reasons, but the contribution to global sea level rise would be very small, something in the centimeters,”