June 21, 2024

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Ice shelf larger than Rio de Janeiro breaks in Antarctica |  Environment

Ice shelf larger than Rio de Janeiro breaks in Antarctica | Environment

ice cover surface The city of Rio de Janeiro I broke up completely last week in East Antarctica, During the unprecedented “heat” wave that swept the regionThe scholars learned on Friday (25).

The complete collapse of the Konger Ice Shelf in East Antarctica on March 15 [cerca de 1.200 km²]said the world NASA Catherine Colello-Walker, by posting satellite images of the event on Twitter.

The surface is roughly the size of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles in the United States or Rome in Italy, but it’s still far from the largest of the icebergs.

The platform located in the area known as Wilkesland began disintegrating many years ago, but last week recorded its “final collapse,” Jonathan Wylie of the Institute of Environmental Geosciences in Grenoble told AFP. An “unprecedented” heat wave swept the icy continent last week.

According to the US National Ice Center (USNIC), the US agency that monitors floating ice, the disintegration of this shelf gave way to an iceberg about 30 kilometers long and 18 kilometers wide, called C38, which later split into two pieces.

The formation of icebergs, known as “birth,” is a natural process, but the warming of the atmosphere and oceans is accelerating it, according to scientists.

“Birth” does not necessarily mean the complete disintegration of the ice sheet, which is the name given to the stretch of glaciers above the sea.

This isn’t the first time that the Antarctic ice shelf has completely disintegrated. In 2002, the much larger Larsen B platform, but it was on the Antarctic Peninsula, on the other side of the continent collapsed.

Andrew McIntosh of Monash University in Australia said on Twitter that the Konger platform “may be smaller, but it’s in East Antarctica, an area we thought was less vulnerable”. “This is a warning,” he stressed.

The eastern part of the frozen continent, whose mantle contains enough ice to raise sea level by tens of meters, was hit last week by an extraordinary heat wave that surprised scientists, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius above seasonal standards.

When a phenomenon occurs, we cannot attribute it to climate change. But the intensification of heat waves is in line with scientists’ predictions.

In general, Antarctica, like the Arctic, is warming faster than the global average, with an increase of approximately +1.1 °C since the pre-industrial period.

Peter Davis insisted that “if this heat wave is a harbinger of future conditions in the region, this ‘birth’ is very important and scientists will do their best to understand how these two events are related.”

(Video: IPCC report calls for urgent and rapid action against the effects of climate change.)