East Antarctica’s first ice shelf collapses

East Antarctica experienced record-breaking heat last week, and new satellite images show an ice shelf the size of Rome has collapsed completely at the same time.

East Antarctica experienced an abnormally high temperature last week. The scientific research station Convoy monitored the temperature in the area to soar to minus 11.8 °C on March 18, which was more than 40 °C higher than the average temperature in the past March. A stream of heat from an atmospheric river is trapped over the Antarctic continent.

Meanwhile, satellite imagery showed the complete collapse of the 1,200-square-kilometer Conger Ice shelf around March 15.

Since the satellites were put into observation in the 1970s, the Kanger Ice Shelf has gradually disintegrated, gradually shrinking into an ice belt 50 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide, one end is connected to the Antarctic continental ice sheet, and the other end is connected to the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. It was connected to Bowman Island until it finally collapsed in March of this year.

The Conger Ice Shelf is small compared to the Larsen B Ice Shelf (3,250 square kilometers) that collapsed more than a decade ago, but ice shelf collapses typically occur in the fast-moving West Antarctica, and East Antarctica is often considered a Larger and more difficult to move stable ice, so it is surprising that the collapse of the Conger Ice Shelf has been observed for the first time since January 2020.

Scientists said that the Conger Ice Shelf is not an important support gateway for the upper ice layer, and it is impossible to say what caused the collapse of the Kanger Ice Shelf, and it will not have a significant impact on the world. The impact of sea level rise can be measured in tens of meters.


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