An enormous floating ice shelf in Antarctica that has existed since the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago collapsed this month with staggering speed during one of the warmest summers on record there, scientists say.
Scientists stopped short of blaming the collapse on global warming caused by human activity. But they noted that the ice shelf had persisted through previous climate changes well before civilization began altering the environment.
``It's a profound event,'' said geologist Christina Hulbe of Portland State University. ``This ice shelf has endured many climate oscillations over many thousands of years. Now it's gone.''