Larsen C Ice Rift Forks

1Larsen C Forks

Another branch / fork has appeared in a huge crack on one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves, and scientists fear it’s only a matter of time before a huge chunk– potentially containing up to 2,000 square miles of ice– breaks away. If this happens, the ice shelf may become increasingly unstable and could even fall apart.

Scientists have been closely monitoring the Larsen C ice shelf, located on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, where a large rift in the ice– now about 111 miles long– has been advancing in rapid bursts in recent years. Between the beginning of December and the middle of January alone, the crack lengthened by about 17 miles. And since 2011, it has grown by about 50 miles.