Crumbling Antarctica


Max Boland

School shooting rates are at an all time high, our country is run by a former television sensation, and now, the icebergs cracking? What does this mean for us?

Global warming is a heavily disputed topic, especially among politicians and scientists; weather graphs are exchanged and heated discussions ensue. This evidence, however, is indisputable. An iceberg roughly the size of Delaware named ‘A-68’ broke off of Antarctica in July of 2017, and continues to break off in chunks the size of small cities. This trillion ton block of ice is blocked by its surroundings to travel as a whole, but otherwise, freely floats in the Weddell Sea.

So, why are icebergs breaking off of entire sheets of ice, like the Larsen C Ice Shelf? Some scientists say the breakage is just the result of regular decay that occurs in an ice shelf’s life. Some scientists say global warming is completely at fault for the warming of icebergs and cracks that follow. No one knows for sure the cause, but other scientists are concerned with the possible effect: the failing vitality of the organisms who enjoy the cold darkness ‘A-68’ used to provide. When the undersea organisms are exposed to light and, therefore, increasing water temperature, homeostasis could be drastically interrupted. This 620 feet thick iceberg provided refuge for many small animals, plankton and microbes that could be seriously affected by the inevitable invasion of new species.

What all of this information means for the human race as a whole is simple: the water levels will be rising in the next few years if the Larsen C Ice Shelf continues to deteriorate. The water level in the ocean could rise at least 4 inches, seriously disrupt the ocean’s natural pH and contribute to the extinction of already endangered species. The especially quick movement of the iceberg, more than 40 kilometers in the past year since the event, proves to be a bad omen for the future of animals near Antarctica. Antarctica-year-stalled.html