Not much time to turn this around: Madrid - Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf is rapidly disintegrating, Spanish scientists reported on Tuesday, wi
February 18, 2009

Not much time to turn this around:

Madrid - Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf is rapidly disintegrating, Spanish scientists reported on Tuesday, with potentially ominous implications for climate change.

An ice sheet of 14,000 square kilometres has broken off from the Wilkins Shelf, and has itself broken into several large icebergs, according to a statement from Spain's National Research Council (CSIC).

CSIC scientists aboard the Hesperides maritime research vessel spotted the disintegration, about 1,600 kilometres south of the southern tip of South America.

If their observation is confirmed, only a small tip of the huge 16,000 square kilometre ice shelf would still be attached to Antarctica.

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