Scientists Are Watching in Horror as Ice Collapses
Everything we learn about ice shows that it is disturbingly fragile, even in Antarctica.
The soldiers at Matienzo Base in Antarctica made an odd discovery in January 1995—an antique dog sled, unlike any they had ever seen, bound together by leather straps, with a label reading “Made in England.”
Matienzo was an Argentine research base on a small island 30 miles off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. It was surrounded by a vast plain of white—a slab of glacial ice, 700 feet (215 meters) thick, that floated on the ocean. That floating slab, called Larsen A Ice Shelf, covered an area of water the size of San Francisco Bay. It had existed for a thousand years or more. But this hot summer it looked strange. The men had to go onto the ice shelf