East Antarctica’s Previously Stable Ice Shelf Collapses

Concerned scientists reported Friday that an ice shelf the size of New York City had collapsed in East Antarctica, an area long thought to be stable and unaffected by climate change.

The ice shelf collapse, captured by satellite images, was the first in human history in the frigid region. It happened at the start of a freakish warm spell last week, when temperatures in some parts of East Antarctica reached more than 40 degrees Celsius above normal.

Satellite images show that the area has been rapidly shrinking in recent years, and scientists are now wondering if they have overestimated East Antarctica’s stability and resistance to global warming, which has been rapidly melting ice on the smaller western side.

East Antarctica's Previously Stable Ice Shelf Collapses

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