But as the atmosphere keeps warming, major ice shelves in Antarctica have also been collapsing. In 2002, the Larsen B Ice Shelf, the size of Rhode Island, completely disintegrated. These are satellite images of it breaking into hundreds of pieces.
As predicted, the glaciers that Larsen B anchored up on land began accelerating towards the ocean. And then, two years ago, the even bigger Larsen C Shelf — this is it from the air — developed that miles-long crack in it. This shelf, which sits in front of the Thwaites Glacier, is also crumbling. And part of the Brunt Ice Shelf is expected to break off any day now, releasing an iceberg that'll be twice the size of Manhattan.
There's still some debate over whether human-induced warming is the only thing causing these changes. Antarctica has lost ice many times before, and that also caused the seas to rise. Researchers are now trying to determine how much warmth it takes to cause truly catastrophic sea level rise.
That massive glazer that you see behind me connects all the way up above those peaks to the enormous West Antarctic Ice Sheet. And all of that ice and snow contains a remarkable history of Earth's past climate.