An airborne survey and radar data carried out by NASA scientists state Larsen B Ice Shelf in the Antarctica is disintegrating very fast, and this thinning process might be final in the coming years, leading to rising ocean levels among other environmental consequences.
Having been in existence for over 10,000 years, the Larsen B Ice Shelf nearly broke down in 2002, and the remnant covers around 626 square miles which translates to 1,600 square kilometers – nearly half the size of Rhode Island.
The largest ice shelf in the Antarctica is nearly the size of France, but several other dozen ones remain massive as they remain floating on the coast line of the cold continent. Situated in the Antarctica Peninsula and running to the southern axis of South America, the Larsen B Ice Shelf and another major shelf have been researched by environmental scientists has been affected greatly by ice melting.
“This study of the Antarctic Peninsula glaciers provides insights about how ice shelves farther south, which hold much more land ice, will react to a warming climate,” said Eric Rignot, co-author of the study and a glaciologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
With the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stating that about 95% of global warming is caused by human activities, over 195 countries pledging to combat climate change by the end of 2015, even though most scientists still believe droughts, heat waves, rising seas, and flooding might result from this.
Larsen B was not the only ice glacier studied, the lead scientist Ala Khasendar noted that Leppard and Flask glacier is also thinning out, and this raises concerns about the stability of the ice glaciers as impacted by global warming and climate change.