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Science Briefing

Ice shelf breaks off in Arctic

September 06, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A massive 19-square-mile ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic has broken away and is floating in the Arctic Ocean, the latest sign of rapid climate change in the remote region, a team of scientists said Tuesday.

They said the Markham Ice Shelf -- one of just five remaining ice shelves in the Arctic -- split away from Ellesmere Island in early August. They also said two large chunks totaling 47 square miles had broken off the nearby Serson Ice Shelf, reducing it in size by 60%.

Derek Mueller, an Arctic ice shelf specialist at Trent University in Ontario, said the amount of ice lost from the shelves this summer totaled 83 square miles.

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