In January 1995, the Larsen B Ice shelf measured 11,512.5 square kilometer. After the disintegration in 2002 the shelf measured 6,664.04 square kilometer, and a month later it went down to 3,462.81 square kilometer.
Larsen B remnant is 1,600.61 square kilometer.
NASA found that the Larsen B remnant is flowing faster and becoming increasingly fragmented and also developing cracks at a faster rate.
Two of its tributary glaciers are flowing faster and thinning.
Ice shelf play an important role, they are extensions of glaciers and act as barriers.
If they disappear then glaciers will diminish faster and this will have an effect on the rise of sea levels.
The Larsen B Ice Shelf is 10,000 years old.
NASA found the evidence of ice shelf fragmenting and flowing faster, the flow is in turn creating cracks in the shelf.
The flowing of ice shelf at a faster rate and development of cracks are warnings signs that the remnant is disintegrating.
Ala Khazendar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and study leader said, “Although it’s fascinating scientifically to have a front-row seat to watch the ice shelf becoming unstable and breaking up, it’s bad news for our planet.”
Khazendar added, “This ice shelf has existed for at least 10,000 years, and soon it will be gone.”
Warm summers on the Antarctic Peninsula are considered the main reason for the disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf. Warm summers in Antarctica happen when there is winter in Northern Hemisphere.
Eric Rignot, a glaciologist of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-author of the study said, the research will give insights on how ice shelf’s closer to the South Pole will reacts with the warming climate.
Khazendar said, “What is really surprising about Larsen B is how quickly the changes are taking place. Change has been relentless.”
Antarctic glacier is thinning rapidly and it is great concern.