Antarctic Ice Bridge Ruptures: Ice Shelf the Size of Jamaica Floats Free
In March of last year, portions of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, now no longer connected to land, showed signs of accelerating disintegration. Image: National Snow and Ice Data Center
As another indication that Antarctica is warming quickly (3°C in the past 50 years), an ice bridge linking the Wilkins Ice Shelf to two islands has broken, removing the last barrier connecting the floating ice shelf to land:Reuters quoted a British scientist as saying that just two days prior to collapse, the bridge holding the ice shelf to Charcot and Latady Islands was intact. The 25 mile long bridge broke at its narrowest point, a place about a third of a mile wide.
Though the Wilkins Ice Shelf has been in retreat since the 1990s, the ice bridge rupture will allow more ocean water to wash away even more of the shelf.
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