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 Naughten looked at melting gatekeeper ice shelves, which float over the ocean in this area of Antarctica that is already below sea level. Seth Borenstein, Fortune, 24 Oct. 2023 Scientists have also been tracking some unusual breaking of ice shelves, which are formed by glaciers and are much thicker than the thin and variable sea ice. Jacob Turcotte, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Sep. 2023 These ice shelves have shrunk in volume by more than 35 percent since 1978, according to a separate study published Tuesday in Nature Communications. Delger Erdenesanaa, New York Times, 8 Nov. 2023 This jagged topography can melt faster than flatter parts of the ice shelf’s belly. WIRED, 27 Oct. 2023 Once these ice shelves melt, there’s nothing to stop the glaciers behind them from flowing into the sea. Seth Borenstein, Fortune, 24 Oct. 2023 Since ice shelves play an important role in buttressing, the slowing of flow of glaciers to the sea, the loss of the Thwaites and Pine Island glacier could destabilize western Antarctica, according to climate scientists. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 23 Oct. 2023 Think of the floating ice shelf as a dam that holds back the ice sheet on land. WIRED, 27 Oct. 2023 The marine ice sheet sits on bedrock below sea level, contains glaciers that flow toward the sea and is surrounded by floating ice shelves. Evan Bush, NBC News, 23 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ice shelf.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1869, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ice shelf was in 1869

Dictionary Entries Near ice shelf

Cite this Entry

“Ice shelf.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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