Global warming has been giving us alarming, horrifying signs for the recent decades. Almost a month ago, on 12th July, a gigantic-sized iceberg which weighs around one trillion tonnes broke away from Western Antarctica and the matter is greatly thought-provoking for the science fraternity.
A section of around 2239 square miles (5800 square kilometer) of Larsen C broke away from the main iceberg as reported by the Aqua MODIS satellite of NASA. This broken shelf is continuously changing with more number of cracks and drifts appearing on the surface. But, before we dive more into the story, here’s what you need to know about Larsen C.
Larsen C is a gigantic floating platform of ice situated on eastern side of the Antarctica. This is the 4th biggest ice shelf on the southernmost continent of Earth. Because of continual adverse effects on global warming and climate change, in 2014, a crack occurred in the Antarctic Peninsula which, started growing slowly within the ice shelf and thereafter, stated to spread towards the north for decades, thereby creating a pullulating iceberg.
With the gigantic ice platform drifting apart, the shelf area is expected to shrink by around 10 percent approximately. This comes to approximately four times the area of London or quarter of the size of Wales. Scientists and researchers have kept a close view on the iceberg’s movements through satellites since the ice platform broke away from Larsen C. With continual monitoring, they have noticed the iceberg to drift across by five kilometers from the main platform and thus, the gap is clearly visible now. They have reported that the cracks are about to continue growing and approaching towards the significant feature of the shelf, the Bawden Ice Rise, which works as a great support for the shelf. Thus, getting detached from this feature might become another big dramatic event for Larsen C.
Calving is certainly a natural phenomenon, but, researchers are trying to comprehend whether the global warming and climate change are responsible for expediting the iceberg. The scientific fraternity has neither shown any evidence to relate this event with climate change nor have they reported that it is not an aftermath of environment-harming human activities. However, the ice berg is witnessed to be in the most retreated position and thus, regional warming is expected to play a role in the occurrence of this event.
Needless to say that global warming and climate change, which are known to be the severe aftermath of agricultural practices and burning of fossil fuels will contribute to destabilization of Antarctica. This incident indicates the fact that the ice-shelf has got too thin which will become thinner over time because of the growing impact of global warming on the planet’s ecosystem and geographical stats. Thus, the ice shelf is expected to collapse eventually in the recent decades.
Our planet Earth is giving us alarming wakeup calls, indicating the ice-capped continent, Antarctica, to be on the rise and mankind should lay down their focus on the state of sea levels in the near future.