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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Arctic Ice Shelf Sheds Biggest Chunk Since 2005, Globe Says

By Alex Morales

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- An ice shelf in northern Canada has shed its biggest chunk since 2005, a sign global warming is re- shaping the Arctic coastline, the Globe and Mail reported.

The 4-square-kilometer (1.5-square-mile) piece broke off last week, the newspaper said, citing Sami Soja, a surveyor working for Parks Canada who witnessed part of the event. It's the biggest piece shed since the entire Ayles shelf, one of Canada's six major ice shelves, broke off in 2005, creating a 66- square-kilometer frozen island, the newspaper said.

Over the past century, 9,000 square kilometers of ice attached to the Arctic coastline have shrunk to less than 1,000 square kilometers, the Globe and Mail said. The rest of the Ward Hunt shelf may continue to weaken over time and then suddenly break, the newspaper said, citing Derek Mueller, a scientist who has monitored ice in the area of the latest break.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net.

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