Canada’s Ice Shelves Continue Rapid Disintegration

Canada’s remaining ice shelves on Ellesmere Island — vast sheets of ice that protrude over the ocean but are connected to mainland glaciers — are disintegrating in the heat of greenhouse pollution. This past summer, Ward Hunt Ice Shelf’s central area disintegrated into drifting ice masses, and the Serson Ice Shelf shrank almost to nothing. The Serson Ice Shelf had undergone a major collapse in 2008 into two sections, both of which declined further this year. Before the 20th century, Ellesmere Island had a 300-mile-long ice sheet, which subsequently broke up into six separate shelves by the 1980s. Now, the Ayles (2005), Markham (2008), and Serson (2011) shelves have disintegrated, and the remaining shelves in similar decline.

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