What Happens After Antarctica Loses Larsen C Ice Shelf

Posted: Jan 11 2017, 5:57am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

What Happens After Antarctica Loses Larsen C Ice Shelf
On Nov. 10, 2016, scientists on NASA's IceBridge mission photographed an oblique view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. The IceBridge scientists measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep. The crack completely cuts through the ice shelf but it does not go all the way across it – once it does, it will produce an iceberg roughly the size of the state of Delaware. Image Credit: NASA/John Sonntag
  • Antarctica will be Letting Go of a Large Lump of Ice Soon
 

It looks like Antarctica will be letting go of a large lump of ice soon. What happens after that is anyone’s wild guess.

The scientists announced a disturbing trend about seven days ago. There was a crack in the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica. It had increased to 11 miles in its length within the span of a month.

This was something serious and worthy of observation. This floating piece of ice was as large as Scotland and happened to be the fourth largest in Antarctica. 

10% of the total area of Antarctica was to be let loose into the surrounding waterways. While this is a big surprise, there is more in store. We do not know what will happen after this huge lump of ice breaks free of Antarctica.

While Antarctica has lost considerable ice shelves in the past, none of them have been as big as this one. This whopper could virtually change the fate of the earth.

Some researchers have presented worst case scenarios while others have ignored the consequences. There are all sorts of people in the world and the same goes in the world of science. 

Only time will tell what will occur in the future. Larsen A collapsed in 1995 and so did Larsen B soon afterwards. As for the current Larsen C, it has been hanging in there since a long time.

The global warming is responsible for this weakening of the ice surrounding Larsen C. Recently, this process has picked up speed. This shows that things are not stable at all in the region.

Slowly, very slowly, it is disintegrating. The question on everybody’s lips is what will happen next. Some say that it will leave Antarctica exposed and susceptible to an even greater meltdown in the future.  

Yet the experts are not agreed upon the results of this breakup of Larsen C from Antarctica, according to WashingtonPost. The consequences remain unclear at the moment. There are those who predict that the damage wrought will not be as extensive as alarmists have warned us of.

After the collapse, the remainder will take on a concave shape. While concerns are not nil, the fears are not to be exaggerated either. It is a rare event, but that does not mean that the world is about to end tomorrow.

Such is hardly the case. The consequences whatever they will be are not such as to be a cause for doom-mongering. Larsen C will follow a complex and complicated series of actions once it breaks off from Antarctica. All predictions and prognostications for now are premature. 

The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.

 

 

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