All Cracked Up from the Heat? Major hunk of an Antarctic ice shelf shatters and drifts away | Science News

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All Cracked Up from the Heat? Major hunk of an Antarctic ice shelf shatters and drifts away

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1:06pm, March 27, 2002

A Rhode Island-size section of an Antarctic ice shelf splintered into thousands of icebergs in a mere 5-week period during the area's warmest summer on record.

The Larsen B ice shelf–or rather, the 40 percent of it that's left–rims a small portion of the eastern coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. Satellite images (see series at right) show that about 3,250 square kilometers of Larsen B disintegrated between January 31 and March 5. Over the past 5 years, the 220-meter-thick ice shelf–one of the continent's northernmost–has lost about 5,700 square kilometers, says Ted A. Scambos

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