A crack along an Antarctic glacier has grown roughly 50 kilometres in a matter of months, leaving NASA researchers to believe that the resulting iceberg—known as Larsen C—may make it to the open ocean in as little as a weeks or months. The 9 km added to the rift since early January has brought it to a staggering 160 km (give or take) in length.
It all started with an e-mail. Three years ago, University College London professor Chronis Tzedakis had just explained the basic cycles of an ice age to an undergraduate geology class; how the Earth goes through periods of glaciation followed by warmer periods when glaciers melt. Sometimes, the timing between those periods varies dramatically.
Today, the seeds of 49,000 varieties of crops—including cabbages, wheat, lentils, sweet peas, and many others—will be wheeled into a vault in a mountainside. There they will lay in in sturdy black plastic boxes in a frigid underground vault high above the Arctic Circle, an insurance policy for the entire world's food supply.