Why did the Larsen B ice shelf collapse?

Why did the Larsen B ice shelf collapse?

A succession of unusually warm summers had increased the amount of melt water on the surface of the ice, which then wedged open crevasses in the ice, weakening and ultimately breaking up the shelf. The Larsen B ice is gone forever, but it left behind questions that scientists are now trying to answer in more detail.

How long did it take for the Larsen B ice shelf to collapse?

World of Change: Collapse of the Larsen-B Ice Shelf. In the Southern Hemisphere summer of 2002, scientists monitoring daily satellite images of the Antarctic Peninsula watched in amazement as almost the entire Larsen B Ice Shelf splintered and collapsed in just over one month.

What happened to the Larsen B ice shelf in 2002?

The Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula—southeast of Argentina and Chile—disintegrated into the ocean in 2002. The stunning magnitude of the collapse reflected the fact that the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed dramatically since the 1950s, at rates several times the global average.

What happened to the Larsen B and C ice shelves?

The Larsen A Ice Shelf disintegrated in 1995, whereas the Larsen B Ice Shelf broke apart in 2002. Both events were caused by water from surface melting that ran down into crevasses, refroze, and wedged each shelf into pieces.

What happened to the Larsen Ice Sheet in 2002?

January to March 2002: Rapid disintegration of the Larsen B Between January 31 and March 7, the shelf loses 2,717 square kilometers (1,049 square miles). Following this period of dramatic decline, the shelf continues shedding ice at a somewhat slower pace through mid-April.

When did Larsen C break off?

The breakup of the ice shelf since the mid-1990s has been widely reported, with the collapse of Larsen B in 2002 being particularly dramatic. A large section of the Larsen C shelf broke away in July 2017 to form an iceberg known as A-68.

What is the farthest south an iceberg has ever drifted?

The farthest south an iceberg has been spotted was in 1926 near 30-20N/62-32W, approximately 150nm northeast of Bermuda.

How old was the Larsen B ice shelf before its collapse?

In 2015, a study concluded that the remaining Larsen B ice-shelf will disintegrate by 2020, based on observations of faster flow and rapid thinning of glaciers in the area. Larsen B was stable for at least 10,000 years, essentially the entire Holocene period since the last glacial period.

Where is B 15 iceberg now?

As of 2021, the U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) still lists one extant piece of B-15 that meets the minimum threshold for tracking (70 km2 or 20 sq nmi). This iceberg, B-15ab, measures 20 km × 7 km (11 nmi × 4 nmi); it is currently grounded off the coast of Antarctica in the western sector of the Amery region.

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