This NASA image shows the section of the Ward Hunt ice shelf which recently broke off. (IMAGE/NASA)
"The ice seems to be fracturing all over the Arctic once again”
Aug. 26, 2010 -- (Post Media News) -- A huge chunk of ice about the size of Bermuda has cracked off Canada’s largest remaining Arctic ice shelf.
The ancient slab of ice, measuring about 50 square kilometres in area and almost 400 metres thick, broke away from the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf on Ellesmere Island’s northern coast last week, the Canadian Ice Service said Aug. 25.
“The whole northeast quarter seems to have gone,” said Trudy Wohlleben, a senior ice forecaster at the service, who first noticed cracks developing on the shelf in early August. Satellite images over the last week have confirmed the huge chunk of ancient ice shelf has broken away, she says.
The breakup points to the profound change underway in the Arctic and the accelerating loss of a unique and “majestic” part of Canada’s landscape, says John England, University of Alberta earth scientist.