With summer melt season at its peak, the largest Arctic ice shelf has been broken to a piece of ice twice the size of Manhattan.
According to the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream has lost more than 19 square miles (50 square kilometers) for the second year in a row.
As Bloomberg reports, Northeastern Greenland has warmed by about 3°C since 1980, and both this year and last have experienced record-breaking heat.
Now, with nations courting new shipping and fossil-fuel exploration opportunities, scientists warn that summertime Arctic sea ice may only have years left.
Another sign of the dramatic shift happening as the Arctic warms, is being presented by a study published in journal Nature Climate Change. The study finds that the region’s ice has departed its prior climate period and is entering a new one, a process that might have kicked off as far back as 2000.
This major break in an ice stream that drains 16% of Greenland’s inland ice is only the newest symptom of the Arctic’s new climate. Commenting on this development, Jason Box, another research professor at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, said that we should be very concerned.