RIP, Larsen C.

I’m going to take a quick break today from my travel posts. Yesterday, the Larsen C ice shelf that has been developing a massive crack finally broke off. It is approximately the size of Delaware.

This break itself doesn’t constitute concern; however, the Larsen C ice shelf is the smallest it has been since the end of the last ice age. Larsen A and Larsen B have totally disappeared.

But why does it matter if the ice melts? No one lives there, and it’s far too cold to ever inhabit.

As the ice grows warmer and begins to feed into the ocean, water levels rise. If water levels continue to rise at the rate they have, there is a whole slue of difficulties that arise. I’ve written about future water issues before, but here’s a few reasons why this is a large problem:

  1. Land loss: as ocean levels rise, lower ground will be covered in water. People will be displaced, leading to massive amounts of refugees.
  2. Water corruption: seawater will encroach on freshwater sources, rendering them undrinkable and unusable in agriculture. With freshwater already becoming scarce in some areas of the world, less drinkable water will have tragic effects.
  3. Ocean wildlife is already being affected by the rise in the ocean’s temperature and will continue to lose life, and species will go extinct.

The loss of Larsen C, along with the rising ocean temperatures and other environmental concerns, indicates a huge problem building up for our Earth.

The USA recently withdrew from the Paris Agreement, which placed restrictions on countries and the pollution and environmental impact they put out. As a global leader, the example our country sets produces effects worldwide. An act such as this, blatantly ignoring the upcoming crisis, our withdrawal can have large consequences.


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