Canada's ice shelves rapidly shrinking

Canada' Arctic ice shelves, geological formations that date back thousands of years, are rapidly diminishing in size. In the last six years, they have nearly halved, reports the CBC.

Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa, found that a large part of the ice shelves, have split in half this summer. Pieces, that would essentially cover an area bout the size of Manhattan island, have broken off since July, reports the New York Times.

This, has been caused by consistently higher temperatures in Canada's Arctic. The article shelves are usually about as thick as a ten story building is high- but can also be twice that size.

According to ABC News, the loss of the arctic ice shelves is a market of global warming, and will return the Canadian Arctic to conditions from years back. Moreover, floating icebergs will pose a threat to oil rigs, and shipping lanes and will drastically impact the environment, especially microbial life.

Derek Mueller, an assistant professor at Carleton University, said that this loss is equal to three billion tons.

"This is our coastline changing," Mueller said. "These unique and massive geographical features that we consider to be a part of the map of Canada are disappearing and they won't come back."

The ice shelves are generally found along Canada's northern coast.