Between the days of May 25, 2017 through May 31, 2017, a crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, said to be one of Antarctica’s largest floating platforms composed of ice, extended out to approximately 10 miles long. The crack is estimated to have just 8 miles more of length to break off and depart into the Southern ocean. This floating iceberg is said to be the size of Delaware upon floating off.
Scientists and researchers from project MIDAS, Swansea University, and Aberystwyth University have been tracking this crack through satellite imagery and other techniques of the sort. Scientists and researchers have stated there is little anyone can do at this point to prevent this crack from continuing. According to researchers data and observations, the crack has curved more towards the front of the ice shelf and Southern ocean. Therefore the time required for the crack to release an iceberg, with approximately 2,000 square miles in area, is set to be very imminent. This upcoming event will cause the Larsen C ice shelf to lose more than 10% of its area! This occurrence will fundamentally reshape the Antarctic Peninsula’s landscape.
Although the iceberg will eventually snap off and float into the Southern ocean, it will not lead to rising sea level since the iceberg was already afloat. Subsequently after some time has passed, due to the iceberg drifting into the ocean, it will slowly melt. Thus, rising the current sea level to an estimated 10 cm higher.Personal Response This article provided by the Washington Post has caught a grasp onto my attention. I found it very intriguing in terms of what caused the initial cracking of the Larsen ice shelf.
I believe the crack could have been a result of human activity and natural progression. Human activity refers to global warming caused by society. This could have played as a contributor to causing the crack. As global warming has contributed to the disintegration of Larsen A and Larsen B.
Initially when I found out about this issue, I was scrolling through social media. Then I saw a meme of the crack in the Larsen C ice shelf. The meme read “darn you Scrat”, which basically was saying the saber-tooth squirrel from the movie Ice Age caused the crack due to his unlucky circumstances trying to get the acorn. As I laughed and actually started to wonder if this was a real thing I researched the crack and it brought me to article published by the Washington Post.
To a degree I’m glad people actually knew about the crack but it upset me to think that we may have a cause in this predicament. But our first thought was let’s make a joke about it and forget about it. This article definitely taught me something new. I learned about our probable cause of the disintegration of Larsen A and B, which will also lead to Larsen C. I feel as though we as society should be more environmentally cautious, considering the fact that our actions are causing serious problems in our world. It’s truly eye opening to think what we do in our small County Stafford, Virginia affects the cracking of an ice shelf in Antarctica.Big QuestionsE.
How are the issues addressed in this topic relevant to sustainability or sustainable development?The 11 mile long crack in the Larsen C shelf is relevant to sustainability in the sense that we can’t do anything about this crack from continuing to create an iceberg the size of Delaware. Scientists have already stated that there is little that anyone at this point to prevent this crack from continuing. Sooner or later other problems like this will arise.
Society itself is setting itself up for large disasters that will be inevitable to overcome if we continue to mistreat planet Earth. The United States gets 81% of its total energy from nonrenewable resources. We have put a large amount of trust in fossil fuels.
This big “trust” in nonrenewable resources has truly caused a problem in the world. We have steadily been leading to the rise in global warming. This environmental issue has and will cause many environmental issues such as this one, the 11 mile long crack in the Larsen C shelf.