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 user 2007-01-02 at 11:45:00 am Views: 46
  • #17294

    Huge Arctic ice break discovered
    have discovered that an enormous ice shelf broke off an island in the
    Canadian Arctic last year, in what could be sign of global warming.It
    is said to be the largest break in 25 years, casting an ice floe with
    an area of 66 sq km (25 square miles).It occurred in August 2005 but
    was only recently detected on satellite images.The chunk of ice bigger
    than Manhattan could wreak havoc if it moves into oil drilling regions
    and shipping lanes next summer, scientists warned.

        For something that large to move that quickly is quite amazing,Luke Copland, University of Ottawa

    Arctic is all frozen up for the winter and it’s stuck in the sea ice
    about 50km (30 miles) off the coast,” said Luke Copland, an assistant
    professor at the University of Ottawa.”The risk is that next summer, as
    that sea ice melts, this large ice island can then move itself around
    off the coast and one potential path for it is to make its way westward
    toward the Beaufort Sea where there is lots of oil and gas exploration,
    oil rigs and shipping.”
    ‘Quite amazing’

    The ice break was
    initially undetected due to the remoteness of the northern coast of
    Ellesmere island, which is about 800km (500 miles) from the North
    PoleSatellite images showed the 15km (9mile) crack, then the ice
    floating about 1km (0.6 miles) from the coast within about an hour,
    said Mr Copland, a specialist in glaciers and ice masses.”You could
    stand at one edge and not see the other side, and for something that
    large to move that quickly is quite amazing,” he said.Mr Copland said a
    combination of low accumulations of sea ice around the edges of the ice
    mass, as well as the Arctic’s warmest temperatures on record,
    contributed to the break.The region was 3C (5.4F) above average in the
    summer of 2005, he Canada’s far north have shrunk by as much as
    90% since 1906.”It’s hard to tie one event to climate change, but when
    you look at the longer-term trend, the bigger picture, we’ve lost a lot
    of ice shelves on northern Ellesmere in the past century.”This is that
    continuing and this is the biggest one in the last 25 years,” he said.