Speakeasy forum

General discussion

Big but not the biggest

Huge chunk snaps off storied Arctic ice shelf

Break marks latest in erosion that has whittled 9,000 square kilometres down to 1,000 over past century

A four-square-kilometre chunk has broken off Ward Hunt Ice Shelf - the largest remaining ice shelf in the Arctic - threatening the future of the giant frozen mass that northern explorers have used for years as the starting point for their treks.

Scientists say the break, the largest on record since 2005, is the latest indication that climate change is forcing the drastic reshaping of the Arctic coastline, where 9,000 square kilometres of ice have been whittled down to less than 1,000 over the past century, and are only showing signs of decreasing further.

"Once you unleash this process by cracking the ice shelf in multiple spots, of course we're going to see this continuing," said Derek Mueller, a leading expert on the North who discovered the ice shelf's first major crack in 2002.

"We see this in a variety of indicators, including ... a gradual increase in air temperatures in this area. Each year it seems we're crossing a new threshold of environmental change in this area of the world."

Dr. Vincent said it's important to note that the Ward Hunt ice break is "small compared to what we've seen in the past."

Indeed, the largest ice break recorded in recent time was significantly larger: In 2005, the Ayles Ice Shelf, one of six in existence in Canada at the time, broke off in its entirety, rendering a 66-square-kilometre ice island that floated out to sea.

Still, the latest break "indicates ongoing change in this very sensitive area," Dr. Vincent said.
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Big but not the biggest
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Big but not the biggest
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Popular Forums

icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

SMART HOME

This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.