Vast Ice Shelf Tumbles Into Sea
System broken, warns expert
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2008 8:54 AM CDT
The midnight sun shines on a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker in Canada's Arctic, where separating ice shelves warn of climate change.   (AP Photo/Jonathan Hayward)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A 4,500-year-old, 19-square-mile Arctic ice shelf has broken off an island in Canada, Canada.com reports, making more than 75 square miles of Canadian ice shelves that have melted this summer. “These changes are irreversible under the present climate, and indicate that the environmental conditions that have kept these ice shelves in balance for thousands of years are no longer present,” said an expert.

Ellesmere Island has lost 90% of its ice sheet, which once extended more than 300 miles, over the past century. “If a natural climate cycle took these ice shelves to the top of the proverbial cliff, then we humans appear to be providing a shove at a critical time,” said the expert.