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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Chunk of change

Snooping around after hearing from Malloy about the Ellesmere Island ice shelf breakup in northern-most Canada, I found this tell-tale crack via Google Earth:

The approximate size matches that reported of 66 square kilometers. Some concerned soul got there a little bit early and left a community note.

Update: That location appears wrong. Elsewhere I found the Ayles Ice Shelf as positioned at the northernmost part of the island, Latitude: 82.83333, Longitude: -80.56667. Google Earth has very low resolution here, and whatever broke off would look like a sliver.

The melting of the icebergs that this chunk created will further displace sea-levels elsewhere. Consider the island of Lohachara where the Ganges river empties into the Bay of Bengal. With little fanfare it recently sunk below the water-line.

The uppermost arrow points to the island where apparently 10,000 residents once lived (10,000 people per km2?). The lower arrow I believe points to the uninhabited island of Suparibhanga (or Bedford?), which now looks like a submerged sandbar from the satellite photos.


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