6,000 square mile Wilkins Ice Shelf on Antarctic Peninsula “hangs by a thread”

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On March 25 the British Antarctic Survey reported that the Wilkins Ice Shelf, which covered an area of 16,000 km2 (larger than the state of Connecticut), appears to be on the verge of breaking away from the Antarctic Peninsula. The BAS says this is the largest ice shelf on the peninsula yet to be threatened, “another identifiable impact of climate change on the Antarctic environment.” Satellite images processed at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center reveal a disintegration “pattern that has become characteristic of climate-caused ice shelf retreats.”

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