Massive Iceberg Breaks-off from Antarctica

By Ian Teñido

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Photo credit: Inhabitat

It should be known that icebergs calve off the Antarctica all the time and every time; it is a natural occurrence that whenever seasonal temperatures fluctuate, they are accompanied by melting of some ice which then leads to occasional calves. However, the recent calving of the icebergs which is similar to the size of Delaware is indicative of the heightened global warming as a result of climate change, which makes this calve to be a different one.

What is now the famous Larsen C Break-off  follows similar collapses that happened in 1995 and 2002. Normally, the ice shelves are floating on water/ocean and the water below them is usually warmer than the surface of the icebergs. Therefore, what would potentially facilitate a break-off is when waters below get warmer and finds some escape through the cracks; which then widens the gap that facilitates break away. By the virtue that they float on the ocean, whether they melt or break-off, they do not cause a raise in the sea levels on their own but they keep other land-based ice from flowing into the sea because they serve as barriers. The bottom line to this kind of event is that, regardless of whether the ice melts or breaks-away, the earth’s temperatures keep raising with 2016 being the hottest year ever recorded.

In addition, the breaking off of this ice causes a huge change on the Antarctic ice shelf. This means that the remaining part of the intact ice shelf is smaller than it was before this break-off, and this should be a cause to worry given that the earth is an ice and water planet. This equally represents a scenario which marries into the allusion of massive changes that can happen in Polar Regions. This is unseen before. Peculiarly though, this kind of happening tells us that although we can observe the planet with greater detail now, we are only able to see it more clearly starting from the past few decades and therefore, the earth with its entire system has a lot in it which we can learn from in order to reclaim what’s our from any vagaries posed by nature.

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Photo credit: Project MIDAS

One thing is very clear though, that human-induced climate change played a central role in facilitating the break-off. The global climate change story has been floated out there for every person to judge and definitely, this event is one of the few visible ones that is attached to direct human impacts. Although such events are common and usual, such a big size is suspicious and there might be some huge facts that link climate change to this event which are yet to be unveiled. An important fact that should be emphasized after this event is that when the ice melts, it does not cause the sea level to rise. In its own existence, it has already displaced all the water that it represents. The fact that it is floating means that it is already stepped into the bathtub. The direct impact that such would have is on navigation but navigation rarely takes place in these areas.

The most vital take home lesson from this event is that climate change and global warming are real and it is happening. The fact that Larsen C broke-off confirms that climate change is not a hoax and unless the efforts directed towards combating climate change are not spirited, the other severe effects of climate change such as poverty and ecosystem degradation will hit humanity the most.

Article Download Link: Massive Iceberg Breaks Off from Antarctica:07:2017_PDF

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