Whether you believe that climate change is a natural event or a human-made phenomenon doesn’t matter because temperatures are warming. That evidence was made even more apparent in February 2021 when an iceberg the size of New York City broke off of Antarctica’s ice shelf.
The Brunt Ice Shelf sees some seasonal changes each year, but it has never lost a 490-square-mile chunk of itself in the past.
Although the size of the break is shocking, scientists and glaciologists have expected this calving event for about a decade. Several chasms had formed along the ice, which meant it was only a matter of time until something happened.
What Happens Next with the Giant Iceberg?
The iceberg’s calving impact will remain unknown for the next few months. Scientists say that the new massive chunk could stay close to its ice shelf, essentially maintaining the structure while being casually separate from it.
It could also start floating away instead of running aground, impacting the ocean’s health in several ways.
The Brunt Ice Shelf is the home of the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Station. Authorities moved the facility further inland in 2016 to avoid the different chams that were forming.
Researchers continue to keep a close eye on the issue to assess its potential impact on the rest of the ice shelf.
Facts About Global Warming to Consider
With the Industrial Revolution events that helped us to create modern society, we started generating more carbon dioxide than at any other point in history. Some researchers estimate that we have more CO2 in the atmosphere than at any other point in the last 800,000 years.
The United States produces 25% of this pollution while comprising only 4% of the world’s population.
Since the late 19th century, global sea levels have risen by at least eight inches. Continued heat waves may cause additional concerns, create stronger storms, and trigger more heat-related illnesses.
It is up to us to do something. Although an iceberg the size of NYC is a notable event, it doesn’t need to be the end of the story.