Ice bridge ruptures in Antarctic – could result in the collapse of Wilkins Ice Shelf

Just recently an ice bridge which linked a shelf of ice the size of Jamaica to two islands in Antarctica has snapped and melted away. Scientists say this is a result of man-made climate change and warns that this collapse could mean the end for Wilkins Ice Shelf, a much larger ice shelf.

"The rapid retreat of glaciers there demonstrates once again the profound effects our planet is already experiencing -- more rapidly than previously known -- as a consequence of climate change," U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

"This continued and often significant glacier retreat is a wakeup call that change is happening ... and we need to be prepared," USGS glaciologist Jane Ferrigno, who led the Antarctica study, said in a statement.

"Antarctica is of special interest because it holds an estimated 91 percent of the Earth's glacier volume, and change anywhere in the ice sheet poses significant hazards to society," she said.

Read more:

- Ice bridge ruptures in Antarctic (BBC)

- Watch: Antarctic ice bridge splits (BBC)

- Wordie Ice Shelf has disappeared: scientists (Reuters)

Also read:

- First commercial ship sails through Northwest Passage: “I didn’t see one cube of ice”

- NASA: Arctic sea ice reaches second-lowest level on record

- As the Arctic melts polar bears are resorting to cannibalism

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Simon Leufstedt
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