The Larsen ice sheet has lost 75% of its mass since 1995. In 1995, a 580-square-mile piece of the Larsen A section of the ice sheet crumbled away; in 2002, the Larsen B section lost 1,255 square miles. The Larsen C iceberg (625 feet thick) represents a larger loss than either of those events.
Antarctic Ice Shelves Map:
Ice shelves are found where glaciers meet the ocean and the climate is cold enough to sustain the ice as it goes afloat. Located mostly around Antarctica, these floating platforms of ice a few hundred meters thick form natural barriers which slow the flow of glaciers into the ocean and thereby regulate sea level rise. In a warming world, ice shelves are of particular scientific interest because they are susceptible both to atmospheric warming from above and ocean warming from below.
Note: Since their discovery over a hundred years ago, shelves—Larsen A, B, C and D—remained fairly stable. However the sudden disintegrations of Larsen A and B in 1995 and 2002 respectively, and the ongoing speed-up of glaciers which fed them, focused scientific interest on their much larger neighbour, Larsen C, the fourth biggest ice shelf in Antarctica.
My Comment: Since us humans tend to be catastrophe oriented, we are fortunate to have such graphic physical events to help us focus our attention on the reality of global warming. Warmer oceans sped up the calving of ice shelves. All that remains is to understand why ocean water temperatures are demonstrably increasing.
Quick Facts On Ice Shelves
What The Antarctic Ice Shelf Break Really Means
Contribution of Antartica to past and future sea level rise
Larsen Ice Shelf
Larsen Shelf B Is Now Set to Completely Disintegrate