Ice break from Arctic’s Ward Hunt Ice Shelf a significant event.

A huge four square kilometer piece of ice has broken off the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf. Jessica Leeder from the Globe and Mail, Canada quotes Warwick Vincent, director of Laval University’s Centre for Northern Studies, who has had students monitoring conditions on the ice shelf for years:

“He called the ice break “a significant event” that the shelf has been building toward since it began gradually thinning during the 1950s. Since then, over a 40-year period, the shelf thinned from 70 metres in the early 1950s to about 35 metres in the 1990s, Dr. Vincent said.”

This ancient ice shelf dates back 3,000 years and is the largest of five remaining arctic ice shelves.  The losses are exacerbated by the fact that new ice is not forming.  With the loss of sea ice and its reflective ability, the dark waters absorb heat causing further melting of existing ice.

The thick ice of the Arctic is retreating faster than expected and events like this highlight the need to address climate change. Whether one accepts that the problem is a man-made one or not the time to act is upon us, the changes are apparent.

PHOTO OF THE DAY:The first sign of the spring melt – a stream is seen flowing on the ice.

spring melt on ice in Alaska

Source: Wikipedia,

(Location: Tigvariak Island, Alaska North Slope ; Photo Date: Spring 1950 ; Photographer: Rear Admiral Harley D. Nygren, NOAA Corps )

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~ by abstraktbiblos on Thursday, 31 July, 2008.

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