Rift in Antarctica's Larson c ice shelf
Global warming and climate change are two of the most important challenges faced by society in the 21st century.
An example of an outcome from both of these is the rift on the Larsen c ice shelf which is located northwest of the Weddell sea and it continues along the Antarctic Peninsula. It is believed to be a quarter of the size of Whales.
Events in one place can lead to change in other places, for example the Larsen c ice shelf is breaking away due to global warming and rising sea levels. Global warming is caused by the larger volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses released by burning fossil fuels, agriculture, human activities and land clearing.
The rift in the Larsen c ice shelf started as a small crack in the 1960's and overtime has changed to a large rift stretching 5000 square kilometres across the antarctic peninsula due to rising temperatures across this time period.
The rift is only about 20 kilometres from reaching the edge of the Larsen c ice shelf which will cause rising sea levels for the next 200 years. This is because the ice shelf is holding back the flow of glaciers and so once it is gone the flow of the glaciers will speed up and cause rising sea levels.