The first feeling is a chilling awe, as you watch the British Antarctic Survey’s aerial footage of the great crack that is spreading rapidly along the Larsen C ice shelf. You see the grand vastness of Antarctica absolutely cracked open, like a dropped dinner plate smashed crisply apart. The cliffs of ice descend hundreds of metres to the ocean. And the ocean is dark blue, exposed for the first time in thousands of years.
Scientists are expecting that in a matter of days, the crack will reach the very end of the Larsen C ice shelf and a gigantic iceberg twice the size of Samoa, the size of Delaware, will calve off and collapse into the ocean, in one of the most dramatic displays of destruction due to global warming.
Since the 1950s, the region of the Larsen Ice Shelf has warmed by nearly three degrees (celsius). The Antarctic Peninsular is a …