Sep 4, 2008 04:10 PM
There's another island the size of Manhattan, but this one is a newly broken ice sheath off the Arctic circle.
The Markham Ice Shelf separated from Canada's Ellesmere Island last month, Bloomberg News reports. The split of the 4,500-year-old, 10-story-tall ice shelf, which borders Greenland, dismayed scientists concerned that global warming was the culprit.
"It was a complete shock,'' Luke Copeland, director of the Laboratory for Cryospheric Research at the University of Ottawa, told the newswire. "What was really amazing is that we lose it all in such a short period of time, within just a few days.''
The news comes just a week after the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported near-record melting of sea ice in the Arctic. The Serson Ice Shelf is 60 percent smaller now that a combined 47 square miles (122 square kilometers) of ice have broken off, and the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf -- the largest of the remaining four -- also is disintegrating, Reuters notes.
Some 83 square miles (215 square km) of ice melted along Ellesmere Island this summer -- more than 10 times as much as scientists estimated on would disappear there, Reuters said.
(Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Copyright: Andrey Solovyev)
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