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4/4/09

Large Ice Shelf Expected To Break From Antarctica

MollyB sends this excerpt from CNN: "A large ice shelf is 'imminently' close to breaking away from part of the Antarctic Peninsula, scientists said Friday. Satellite images released by the European Space Agency on Friday show new cracks in the Wilkins Ice Shelf where it connects to Charcot Island, a piece of land considered part of the peninsula. The cracks are quickly expanding, the ESA said. ... The Wilkins Ice Shelf — a large mass of floating ice — would still be connected to Latady Island, which is also part of the peninsula, and Alexander Island, which is not, said professor David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey. ... If the ice shelf breaks away from the peninsula, it will not cause a rise in sea level because it is already floating, scientists say. Some plants and animals may have to adapt to the collapse."

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