A giant crack in Antarctica made headlines again for the past few days and many people are worried. A rift has caused a huge chunk of the glacier to break off into the ocean in a part of Antarctica known as the Brunt Ice Shelf. Also known as glacier calving, this process of rifting between glaciers is permanent and irreversible where the end piece breaks free and creates ice chunks known as icebergs. These are solid and intact pieces but are still considerable mass losses to our glaciers in the south pole.
The first since the 1970s
What makes this event spectacular (and equally concerning) is the fact that glacier calving of this scale is the first for the past almost half-century. Although this may be the first in the last four decades, scientists are not exactly surprised by the event. This is particularly true in the growing cracks in the Brunt Ice Shelf. Glacier calving can take decades to complete and scientists have been observing these ‘cracks’ on the Antarctic for years. Scientists have been keeping an eye on this for the past couple of years.
An absolutely expected event
Experts estimate that the size of this iceberg chunk is larger than the City of New York. This process of glacier calving is completely normal and natural. In fact, it is an absolutely expected event. The behavior of large glaciers like this is unpredictable and parts of it could break off with or without global warming. Scientists even pointed out that there is no significant evidence to point that glacier calving is caused entirely by global warming.
However, even if these events are expected there is too much evidence to deny that global warming does exist. It may not be on the cracking of glaciers or pieces of it breaking off, but it could be seen elsewhere. In fact, scientists have been pointing out that climate change is in our polar regions. What makes experts worried now is the fact these changes occurring in the poles are happening too often, too fast.
Expecting to see changes in the future
Among the changes scientists have been seeing in the poles include but are not limited to the following:
- Air and ocean temperatures are rising
- Shrinking wildlife populations
- Rapid melting and retreating of ice
Many experts believe that humanity has reached a point where climate change is NEAR irreversible. Some data show that global temperatures can further increase and cause unusual effects to the environment should world governments fail to produce any action. Talks among leaders have been prevalent in the last decade, but are we really seeing any change?