A large shelf of ice the size of Connecticut is anticipated to break away fromthe Antarctic Peninsula, according to officials.The Wilkins Ice Shelf has developed rifts between itself and mainlandislands as detected in satellite images. The shelf was stable for the majorityof the last century, then began its separation in the 90s, according to theEuropean Space Agency. It is the largest ice shelf on the peninsula that hasbeen under threat.
The ice shelf is already floating, so it will not cause the sea level torise if it should break away completely. However, wildlife and vegetation mayhave to adapt to the change.
This follows several previous breaks on the ice shelf. In May 2008 it lost a62-square-mile piece, and in February of that year it lost a total of about 164square miles.
Story by AccuWeather.com News Correspondent Gina Cherundolo