sea level rise

Huge Antarctic iceberg breaks off Pine Island Glacier

Pine Island Glacier calving front seen in 2016.
The calving front of the Pine Island Glacier, seen by a NASA aircraft in 2016. Image: NASA IceBridge.

An iceberg about five times the size of Manhattan has broken off the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica over the past 24 hours, an ominous sign of the continued retreat of this fast-flowing mass of ice. Like many other marine terminating glaciers in Antarctica, this glacier is retreating over time, and increasing the movement of ice into the sea.

Why it matters: While this iceberg itself is not record-breaking — it ranks as the sixth-largest iceberg to break off the Pine Island Glacier since 2001 — it illustrates the continued instability of marine-terminating glaciers in parts of the icebound continent.

How climate change puts our cultural heritage at risk

Illustration of Socrates statue surrounded by rising water, as sea level rise threatens cultural sites.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sea level rise due primarily to global warming threatens to submerge dozens of the most culturally significant sites in the Mediterranean.

  • In Italy alone, at least 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are at risk, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications.

Why it matters: UNESCO designates cultural World Heritage Sites for places that represent cultural traditions or civilizations that have since disappeared. The Mediterranean region was home to several ancient civilizations, many of which flourished by the sea.

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