In the latest sign of accelerating climate change, a huge 19 square mile ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic broke away last month and the remaining shelves have shrunk at a "massive and disturbing" rate.
Scientists said the Markham Ice Shelf, one of just five remaining ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic, split away from Ellesmere Island in early August. Two large chunks totaling 47 square miles also broke off the nearby Serson Ice Shelf, reducing it in size by 60 percent.
Temperatures in large parts of the Arctic have risen far faster than the global average in recent decades, a development that experts say is linked to global warming. The incredibly rapid rate at which Canada's Arctic ice shelves are disappearing is an early indicator of the 'very substantial changes' that global warming will impose on all mankind.
Ellesmere Island was once home to a single enormous ice shelf totaling around 3,500 square miles. All that is left of that shelf today are the four much smaller shelves that together cover little more than 300 square miles.
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