Feb 21, 2017 03:36 AM EST
After scientists have discovered the lengthen crack in the Antarctic ice shelf Larsen C, they are expecting it to give way. There might be an iceberg that is twice the size of the smallest European country.
Antarctic ice Larsen C is the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica. Nature has reported that since early this year, its crack has moved at least 10 kilometers more. As of the moment, the crack is already 175 kilometers long. Scientists have given the crack weeks to months before it reaches the ocean. They have also predicted that it will release into the Weddell Sea an iceberg twice as big as Luxemburg.
Global warming is the main reason that the crack in Larsen C is getting longer. It is also getting longer faster than the first Larsens, A and B. The Larsen C crack has upped to a factor of eight, says Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the University of California, Irvine. The other glaciers have slowed down its melting. However, they are still melting five times faster than before, the scientist noted.
NASA has reported before that the Larsen Ice B was a turning point. Its development into that was because of the climate change and global warming. "It was the biggest collapse of its kind up to that point, and it served to demonstrate how ice shelves regulate the movement of ice from the interior of the ice sheet to the ocean," Ala Khazendar, a geophysicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California explained.
Effects of the crack and Larsen C possibly going into the ocean are really big. It will not only affect Antarctica but also possibly the whole world. There is enough water that the glaciers in Larsen C contain. It can raise the sea level by one centimetre if it cannot be stopped by an ice shelf.
Sea levels are rising at about about 3 millimetres a year. The greatest contributors of it are Greenland and Antarctica.
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