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  Huge Antarctic ice shelf collapses
Updated 19 March 2002, 11.10
Bits of ice from the Larsen B collapse
Bits of ice from the Larsen B collapse

A huge chunk of the Antarctic ice shelf that's as large as Cambridgeshire has collapsed into the ocean.

Map showing how the ice has collapsed
It's the biggest break-up of ice in 30 years, and scientists are blaming it on global warming - the heating up of the earth's atmosphere.

  Click here for more on global warming

The ice shelf, called Larsen B, first started to melt away from the main bit of land in January.

But in the last couple of weeks it's collapsed and formed hundreds of tiny icebergs.

Experts from the British Antarctic Survey say it should not affect sea levels, as it was already floating on the surface.

Worrying development

Fact File
Facts on the ice chunk
It contains 50 billion tonnes of ice
Located at 74.56 south latitude and 107.55 west longitude
Area of collapsed ice covers 3,250 square km in total
Ice shelves act like brakes for glaciers. So if they disintegrate, glaciers flow faster.

And this is another indication of the way global warming is affecting the planet.

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