Huge Chunk Snaps Off Largest Arctic Ice Shelf

Arctic's biggest ice shelf is falling apart and not regenerating
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2008 8:19 AM CDT
Ice floes form patterns in Baffin Bay above the Arctic Circle as viewed from the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent Thursday, July 10, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An 8-square-mile chunk of ice has broken off an ancient ice shelf in Canada's Arctic, the Globe & Mail reports. The Ward Hunt Shelf, the biggest in the Arctic, has shrunk over the last century from 3,500 square miles to less than 400 today. Huge cracks have appeared in the ice and more is expected to go before winter.

Scientists warn that Arctic ecosystems are being lost forever and believe global warming is the likely cause. "If we're looking at an indicator of whether climate is to blame, it's really the lack of ice regeneration that convinces me," said a leading expert on the area.