Apr 22, 2017 08:59 PM EDT
Antarctica’s Larsen-C ice shelf crack was seen to continue growing. Experts then stated that an iceberg large as Delaware would break away. Other predictions were mentioned as well, but when will it crack couldn’t be answered nor predicted by NASA.
According to Live Science, NASA and other scientists had been observing Antarctica’s Larsen-C ice shelf crack since 2014. The crack’s measured record back then was mentioned to be 112 miles (180 kilometers) long. But this month, only 10 miles (16 km) of ice were left between the crack and the open sea.
"What we are seeing on Larsen C has implications for the big ice shelves farther south that hold considerable (sea level) potential," Eric Rignot, NASA’s sea level change team member stated. "The loss of these larger ice shelves and the resulting acceleration of glacial calving could amount to meters of sea level rise in the decades and centuries to come."
As explained, ice shelves serve as barricades that hold back the broken ice to the sea. Yet, trouble still arises if Antarctica’s Larsen-C ice shelf crack breaks as Larsen-A and Larsen-B were seen to be sensitive to climate change. The previous ice shelf cracks from Larsen A and B were mentioned to have collapsed last 1995 and 2002, respectively.
Nonetheless, Project MIDAS, a United Kingdom-based group mentioned that they couldn’t predict when the drastic break on Larsen-C would occur. Some say days while some say years due to the number of unknown factors that could cause the iceberg to break. NASA officials then also mentioned that an event called calving may cause the "complete disintegration of the ice shelf."
Another NASA's sea level change science team member Helen Fricker then mentioned that Antarctica’s Larsen-C ice shelf break would cause only 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) of global sea level rise. Other officials then said that the event could change the continent’s landscape. Larsen-C being stable was also identified to be another prediction as well per I4U News.
The video below that was released by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows the Antarctica’s Larsen-C ice shelf crack by using the images capture from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite mission. The agency also mentioned that the breakaway of the ice shelf from Larsen-C would be the largest ever recorded.
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