ice shelf


Definition of ice shelf

: shelf ice In 2002, a Rhode Island-size section of an ice shelf crumbled into the sea.— Joe McGowan

Examples of ice shelf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Researchers are using a variety of techniques to observe the ocean beneath and around ice shelves to better understand the likely impacts of climate change. Richard Hodson, Scientific American, "Physical oceanography," 13 Nov. 2019 Elephant seals dive even deeper, into the trenches in the seafloor that funnel dense warm water toward West Antarctica’s ice shelves. Stephen Witt, WIRED, "Fitted With Sensors, Antarctic Seals Track Water Temperatures," 25 June 2019 The crew on board the Dutch research ship the Agulhas II has completed its initial mission of studying the Larsen-C ice shelf. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Antarctic Expedition Hopeful of Finding Ernest Shackleton's Long-Lost Research Vessel," 4 Feb. 2019 Because of its position on an ice shelf, Neumayer Station moves every day about 40 centimeters, inching closer to the ocean. Esther Horvath, National Geographic, "Want to grow plants in space? Go to the coldest place on Earth.," 15 Mar. 2019 One of Antarctica’s biggest and most unstable glaciers is thinning faster than scientists had realized, with one of its key ice shelves losing up to 33 percent of its ice over a 30-year period ending in 2009. Denise Chow, NBC News, "Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier may be thinning faster than previously thought," 10 Sep. 2019 The boundary between the grounded ice sheet and its protruding ice shelf will retreat. The Economist, "Climate change is a remorseless threat to the world’s coasts," 17 Aug. 2019 As this grounding line recedes, bits of the ice shelf break off. The Economist, "Climate change is a remorseless threat to the world’s coasts," 17 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, ocean water seeps beneath the ice shelf and washes up against the base of the glacier. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Antarctic Glaciers Lost Stunning Amount of Ground in Recent Years," 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ice shelf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ice shelf

1869, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ice shelf

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The first known use of ice shelf was in 1869

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Statistics for ice shelf

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ice shelf.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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