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The Canadian ice shelf larger than Manhattan collapsed into the sea



This large ice sheet then floats into the Arctic Sea, continuing to break apart into two large chunks. This whole spawning event – the scientific term for the breaking of ice sheets in glaciers – was recorded by satellite Copernicus Sentinel.

The broken area was about 80 square kilometers – 60 square kilometers larger than Manhattan.

“Above-normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the reason the ice shelf shattered,” according to the Canadian Ice Service.

The Water and Ice Research Laboratory (WIRL) said in a press release Aug. 7 that the remaining Milne ice shelf is likely to further destabilize. WIRL warns there will be continued defrosting in the coming days and weeks.

A study site on an ice shelf was leveled in this collapse.

“Fortunately we were not on the ice when this happened, the camp site and our equipment were destroyed during the event,”
; said Derek Mueller, professor of Geography and Research. Environment at Carleton University said in a blog post on August 2.

Mueller and his team visited the Milne Ice Shelf several times, but this year’s trip was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Look north along a crack in the Milne Ice shelf.  This crack is still intact but the ice shelf broke down along a smaller trench in the west (left) in July 2020.
The last known aquifer lake in the Arctic may disappear because of a break of the ice shelf. A stratum lake is a freshwater area held by a floating ice shelf above the ocean’s surface.

When the Milne Ice Shelf collapsed, it was capable of bringing fresh water once contained into the salt waters of the Arctic Ocean. Researchers are unsure of the extent of this damage “as this depends on the integrity of the remains of the Milne Ice itself.”

Molten lakes form each summer in the lowlands on the Milne Ice Shelf.

These ice shelves can help limit global sea level rise by acting like a dam, slowing the flow of melted ice and water into the oceans. These large spawning events can also create dangers to the shipping industry by creating large icebergs that essentially pass through the northern oceans.

The Arctic continues to warm much more rapidly than any other region of the world due to the constant arctic heatwaves hitting the region. Temperatures across the Arctic continued to rise in July this year across Canada and Siberia, where massive wildfires continued to burn.
“Globally, it was the third warmest July on record, after 2016 and 2019,” Copernicus ECMWF said in their monthly climate report.
The resort was evacuated for fear of the collapse of the Mont Blanc glacier

This is not the first time this year the Canadian Arctic has lost significant ice features.

Earlier this summer, two ice caps in St. Bay. Patrick of Canada has completely disappeared. Two ice caps are located on the same Ellesmere Island as the Milne Ice Shelf in Nunavut.

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