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SOURCE: Climate Central

DATE: September 30, 2016

AUTHOR: Andrea Thompson

SNIP: As the sun reemerged over the Antarctic horizon in August after the long, dark austral winter, satellites could once again peer at a rift that has been wending its way across the white expanse of the Larsen C Ice Shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

To the surprise of scientists, satellite images revealed that the fissure had grown by about 13 miles over just a few months — much faster than its previous pace.

…the first post-winter satellite images from late August showed that this rift had managed to break across that zone and streak ahead; it now reaches about halfway across the ice shelf, parallel to its front.

When Daniela Jansen, a glaciologist at the Alfred Wegner Institute in Germany, first looked at those photos, “I was really surprised how fast this was developing,” she said.