A chunk of Greenland’s ice cap over 42 square miles in size broke off the frozen island’s northeastern shore Monday, the Associated Press reported.
Scientists pointed to the chunk’s break as evidence of climate change’s toll on the arctic region. The piece was part of the approximately 600 square mile Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden fjord, according to the National Geologic Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).
“We should be very concerned about what appears to be progressive disintegration at the Arctic’s largest remaining ice shelf,” said GEUS professor Jason Box, according to AP.
Greenland has been more affected by climate change than almost anywhere else in the world, scientists say. The territory, the far majority of which is a massive ice shelf, has lost 160 square miles – an area twice the size of Manhattan – since 1999, according to satellites which record changes in Greenland’s surface.
Scientists have also warned that Greenland keeps losing more ice than the amount added by snowfall each winter, which they say will contribute to the rising sea level.
One study released in August said that the ice lost in 2019 was enough to blanket California in four feet of water, AP reported.