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Fourth echelon

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Ancient Antarctic ice shelf to disintegrate in next 10 years, NASA finds


WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- What's left of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica is likely to collapse completely before the end of the decade, NASA finds.

Since most of it collapsed in 2002, the shelf's disintegration continued at a surprising speed due to many warm summers. At its thickest, Larsen B is about 1,640 feet deep and spans 625 square miles, but NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., found that it is loosening faster and becoming increasingly unstable.

"These are warning signs that the remnant is disintegrating," study lead Ala Khazendar said. "Although it's fascinating scientifically to have a front-row seat to watch the ice shelf becoming unstable and breaking up, it's bad news for our planet. This ice shelf has existed for at least 10,000 years, and soon it will be gone."



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