A MASSIVE ice shelf, larger than New York City, collapsed and broke away from Antarctica after record temperatures.
The 460-square-mile chunk of ice fell into the ocean in a unique event observed by scientists in the region.
It was much larger than New York City, which is 300 square miles.
Autumn struck last Thursday when temperatures soared to -11.8C, more than 40C warmer than usual in some parts of East Antarctica.
Satellite photos show that the area had shrunk rapidly in recent years.
Ice shelves prevent snow and ice from falling into the ocean and causing sea levels to rise. They take thousands of years to form.
The collapsed chunk of ice held off the warmer water in the Conger and Glenzer glaciers.
Scientists said the warmer weather events were related to heat and humidity moving poleward and winds blowing out of Australia.
Prof Alex Sen Gupta said: “We had a combination of strong weather systems over the Southern Ocean south of Australia that aligned to produce very strong poleward winds that stretched from Australia to eastern Antarctica.”
Prof Julie Arblaster from Monash University added that atmospheric flux is also a factor.
She said, “These are moisture fluxes in the air that bring warm and humid air to certain places, and a really significant one occurred in this region over Antarctica.”
According to NASA, between 2002 and 2020, the continent lost an average of 149 billion tons of ice per year.
Casey Station in Australia, which is closest to the collapsed ice shelf, recorded 5.6C – 10C warmer than normal last week.
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4982394/ice-shelf-new-york-breaks/ Massive ice shelf, larger than New York City, is collapsing and breaking away from Antarctica after record temperatures