Feb 10, 2017 01:20 PM EST
Researchers Evacuate Antarctica; Crack Grew 17 Miles in 2 Months [Video]
The Larsen C ice shelf has been monitored by British researchers and found a crack in the ice shelf, which has grown 27 kilometers (17 miles) since December.
The researchers said that if the shelf breaks, it would create the largest iceberg ever recorded. Accordingly, the crack is 100 miles in length reaching two miles in width, according to Indy100. The tip of which is currently 20 miles from reaching the other end of the shelf. The rift, which is being monitored by Project MIDAS for several years now, says the ice will eventually break within a few months.
What is alarming to the scientist is that the advancing crack in the fourth-largest ice shelf is the accelerated cracking that is getting close to breaking. The breaking ice is said to be in an area that is vulnerable to warming temperatures. By estimate, the crack in the ice shelf is growing roughly by the size of five football fields each day.
According to the New York Times, the researchers report that if the break happens, it could significantly alter the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. Additionally, scientists fear the loss of two crucial anchor points as the ice shelf retreats.
The scientists also said that the shelf is continually thinning, which leaves it vulnerable to breaking. Crucial is that the shelf's two anchors on the side of Larsen C that holds the ice shelf where it is said Eric J. Rignot, a glaciologist, professor at University of California-Irvine and a senior scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Martin O'Leary, research officer at Swansea University and a member of Project MIDAS, was asked by VOA News, what it means for ocean level around the world if Larsen C separates. He said luckily not much, however, according to him, the shelf is already displacing a lot of water because it is now floating on the ocean, said he.
Echoing Dr. Rignots statement, saying, the ice shelf will be more vulnerable to climate change in the future. The loss of ice may mean Larsen C may lose stability and prone to calving events which would eventually collapse the whole shelf.