The Guardian was far from alone in reporting this week that “A vast hunk of floating ice has broken away from the Antarctic peninsula, threatening the collapse of a much larger ice shelf behind it, in a development that has shocked climate scientists.” On The Great Beyond, Quirin Schiermeier points out that the the most noteworthy thing about this delicately poised hunk of the Wilkins ice shelf may be its media visibility: the loss of a 400-square-kilometre piece of the same shelf earlier this year received no such fanfare.
Still, that visibility is pretty spectacular. Check out this mashup of the Twin Otter plane’s flyover footage with the satellite images that tipped off British Antarctic Survey scientists:
“The ice shelf is hanging by a thread,” said David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey. “We’ll know in the next few days or weeks what its fate will be.”