Posted by: blogone | December 29, 2006

Massive ice shelf snaps off Arctic

A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada’s Arctic.

Scientists revealed today that the mass of ice broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 800km south of the North Pole, but no one was present to see it in Canada’s remote north.

Scientists using satellite images later noticed that it became a newly formed ice island in just an hour and left a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake.

Warwick Vincent of Laval University, who studies Arctic conditions, travelled to the newly formed ice island and could not
believe what he saw.

“This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are loosing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years. We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead,” Dr Vincent said today.

Read more about it here and at the BBC

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