The Southern Patagonia Ice Field which covers an area of 12 thousand square kilometres in Chile and Argentina, has split in two and is expected to fragment further as a result of climate change, Chilean researchers have warned.
According to Gino Casassa, head of the Snow and Glacier Division of Chile’s DGA water authority, rising temperatures in the parts of the Andes in southern Chile and Argentina have resulted in less snow and ice to replenish the region’s glaciers.
Gino Casassa emphasised that although the ice field has only split in two, it is likely that further fractures will be discovered to the south.
This year, two massive icebergs have already broken off the Grey Glacier in the Torres del Paine National Park, and researchers suggest that the phenomenon could become regular in the region.
The first block separated on 20 February, the second on 7 March. Previous to those, the last iceberg
the glacier had birthed was an almost 350 m long and 380 m wide blue-white iceberg in November 2017.
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The absolute temperature record was broken at one of Canada’s northernmost weather stations: 21 degrees Celsius was measured in Nunavut District beyond the Arctic Circle.
According to data from NASA, this year’s was the hottest ever month of June, and July is well on the way to setting the record for the hottest month ever.