Climate Change may cause Iceberg, double of New York City, to break off Antarctic ice shelf

February 28, 2019 12:23 PM |

Climate Change has been causing enough problems as far as melting of icebergs and glaciers across Antarctica are concerned. In a new finding by NASA, an iceberg which is nearly twice the size of New York City is all ready to break away from an ice shelf of Antarctica.

NASA says that a crack had appeared along the Brunt ice shelf in October 2016 which is now spreading over towards the east. The crack is also known as the Halloween crack, and is expected to intersect with another fissure which was stable for about 3.5 decades but is now moving north at lighting speed of around 2.5 miles a year.

When both of them will meet, which may happen just in weeks, an iceberg of at least of at least 660sq miles will break off.

The process, which is called calving, occurs naturally with ice shelves however, these changes are quite unfamiliar in this area. NASA has warned that it could cause destabilization of the Brunt ice shelf leading to complete collapse as well. This would further accelerate ice in the upstream glaciers, which may cause an increased contribution to the sea level rise.

When the other side of Halloween Crack loses ice, instability will only increase. While this will be the largest from the brunt ice shelf in 10 decades, however, it is not the first time such event is to occur. NASA also says that this iceberg would not even make to the list of the 20 biggest icebergs in Antarctica. Moreover, in the year 2017 in July, icebergs of 2,200sq miles had calved from the Larsen C ice shelf. These icebergs were even bigger, twice the size of the state of Delaware.

Antarctic ice shelves will play a major role on Global sea level rise in the future. US and UK scientists have claimed last year that Antarctica ice melt is at a record-breaking rate, which may cause a major threat to coastal cities. Iceberg calving although is natural, but due to climate change, ice shelves of Antarctica are thinning.

Ice sheet melting has paced up three times than usual in the last five years. This will only take a backseat if measures are taken to take a step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and do something regarding global warming. By 2070, scientists say that, melting ice in Antarctica  should add more than 25cm to total global sea level rise.

Image Credit:en.wikipedia.org

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