A chunk of ice shelf nearly the size of Manhattan has broken away from Ellesmere Island in Canada’s northern Arctic, another dramatic indication of how warmer temperatures are changing the polar frontier, scientists said yesterday.
Derek Mueller, an Arctic ice shelf specialist at Trent University in Ontario, told the Associated Press that the 4,500-year-old Markham Ice Shelf separated in early August and the 19-square-mile shelf is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean.
“The Markham Ice Shelf was a big surprise because it suddenly disappeared. We went under cloud for a bit during our research and when the weather cleared up, all of a sudden there was no more ice shelf. It was a shocking event that underscores the rapidity of changes taking place in the Arctic,” said Mueller.