Giant Ice Shelf Breaks off Canada's Ellesmere Island


National Geographic

As the Economist might say, another pesky ice shelf obstructing commerce and energy exploration has broken up in Canada's north. the 66 square km (25 square miles) Ayles Shelf was one of six major shelfs (floating ice connected to land) left in the Arctic. Scientist Warwick Vincent said ""This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years. We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead," The shelfs are normally held in place by pack ice, but now ocean movement gets at them and they can be broken apart. Geographer Luke Copeland said "Arctic ice shelves are "not as sexy as polar bears, but these are very unique environments, and we just lost one of them." ::National Geographic and ::Corporate Knights