In the coming days and weeks global climate change will be making quite a splash. A piece of ice approximately 110 miles wide (the size of Delaware) will break off of Antarctica. In the scope of Antarctica, this is actually a small piece of ice. I know that is hard for many of us to wrap our heads around.
The crack in the ice that will break off this piece is 15 miles wide, and the chunk is about 600 feet thick. Unfortunately, we can’t blame all of the melting ice on the hot air President Donald Trump is expelling.
This in itself doesn’t add to the sea level; however, as National Geographic’s Senior Environmental Editor, Robert Kunzig, put it:
“But the thing about ice shelves is that they function like corks. They’re bottling up a much larger amount ice that’s on the ground, on the land in this case behind them. And when — that’s the glaciers that are carrying ice from the interior of Antarctica towards the sea. The ice shelves are really just sort of the floating ends of the glaciers. And so, when that flow increases, more ice is falling into the sea and raising sea level.”
He also said this about the rising ocean temperatures:
“Well, the big thing that’s been happening in recent years is that warmer ocean water, and when I say warm, warmer, I don’t mean really warm. We’re talking about four, five degrees above freezing. That water is penetrating further up towards the coast of Antarctica under the ice shelf and it is undermining the ice shelves. It’s melting them and thinning them from below and weakening them.”
Our President Donald Trump is slashing the Environmental Protection Agency and cutting climate change research while all of this is going on. There was actually rainfall in Antarctica last year. As Emmanuel Macron said, we need to “make our planet great again.”
Featured image via YouTube screenshot.