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Polar ice shelf collapses. (Geography Smart).

What caused a block of ice the size of Rhode Is-land to break up in Antarctica last month?

Could it be global warming? Scientists are not sure. But temperatures in the area have increased 4.45 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 50 years.

The ice broke off the Larsen Ice Shelf, a huge floating ice mass on the eastern part of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Larsen Ice Shelf has probably existed since the last ice age, 12,000 years ago. But it took only five weeks for two thirds of Larsen B to break into thousands of icebergs. (Another section, known as Larsen A, broke up in 1995.)

"We knew what was left would collapse eventually, but the speed of it is staggering," said scientist David Vaughan.

The loss of more ice shelves could affect the sea level. Ice shelves serve as brakes on the flow of ice from land glaciers. If more ice flows into the sea, then sea levels could rise.


1. The Larsen B Ice Shelf was about the size of what U.S. state? _____

2. Two thirds of Larsen B broke up by what date? _____

3. What named line of latitude passes through the Larsen Ice Shelf? _____

4. What geographical feature is located at 80[degrees]S, 60[degrees]W? _____

5. The Ross Ice Shelf is located at what line of latitude on the map? _____

6. Both the Larsen and Ronne ice shelves border what sea? _____

7. Which continent is closest to Antarctica? _____

8. Which is larger, the entire United States or Antarctica? _____

9 What is located closest to 80[degrees]S, 80[degrees]W? _____

10. The Larsen ice breakup area is about how many miles from Chile? _____


Geography Smart

1. Rhode Island

2. March 5, 2002

3. the Antarctic Circle

4. the Ronne Ice Shelf

5. 80[degrees]S

6. the Weddell Sea

7. South America

8. Antarctica

9. Vinson Massif mountain

10. about 1,000 miles
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Publication:Junior Scholastic
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 22, 2002
Previous Article:Ask mapman[TM].
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