A few months ago, scientists reported that the North Pole could become ice-free in the summer before 2050. Climate models have been used to assess this matter, and it seems to be coming true as time goes by.
Polar bears are slowly losing their homes, and they are pushed to move to look for food. Experts predicted that they might go extinct before 2100 if the sea ice continues to melt.
Now, a recent report by scientists said that a massive chunk of the ice shelf was broken off from Canada's last ice shelf, which created a Manhattan-sized iceberg. Experts believe that climate change may also have something to do with this.
According to glaciology professor Luke Copland of the University of Ottawa, the region's temperature this summer if nine degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 1980 to 2010 average. Due to the split, the Northern Hemisphere's last known epishelf was lost.
Milne Ice Shelf Likely Collapsed on July 30 or 31
Canada's last ice shelf, Milne, is located at the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Ice analyst Adrienne White of the Canadian Ice Service said that the collapse of the Milne ice shelf most probably happened on July 30 or 31.
A Twitter post by ECCC Canadian Ice Service showed the satellite image of the collapse that recently happened in the Milne ice shelf. Evident in the picture that around 43% of the ice shelf broke off, which formed pieces of about 260 feet (80 meters) thick.
A huge section of the Milne #IceShelf has collapsed into the #Arctic Ocean producing a ~79 km2 ice island. Above normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up. #MilneIceIsland #Nunavut #seaice pic.twitter.com/fGfj8Me9tA — ECCC Canadian Ice Service (@ECCC_CIS) August 2, 2020
They added that above-normal temperatures, offshore winds, and open water in front of the ice shelf had become the perfect recipe for the ice shelf to break up.
"Entire cities are that size. This was the largest remaining intact ice shelf, and it's disintegrated, basically," Copland said.
Ice shelves float in the ocean, unlike glaciers that sit atop the land. Most of them are hundreds to thousands of years old and thicker than the sea ice. Before the split, the Milne ice shelf was even larger than DC.
Temperatures Are Rising at a Faster Rate in the Arctic
Scientists said that the Arctic is experiencing a phenomenon called polar amplification, in which it is warming faster than the rest of the world. The hot temperature is causing an adverse effect on the ice in the region, which, in turn, causes sea levels to rise.
For example, today, the polar ice caps are melting six times faster than it was in the 1990s. In Canada, a continuous ice shelf spanning the northern coast of Ellesmere used to be there, but because of human-made warming, it has caused to break apart.
Until in 2005, only the Milne ice shelf remained to be the last complete ice shelf. It has sustained many cracks over the years, although the experts considered the Milne ice shelf to be less vulnerable to collapse.