In early 2017, researchers reported a rapidly growing rift carving its way across the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula. They predicted it would be a only a matter of weeks, perhaps, before a Delaware-sized chunk of ice dropped into the ocean. I created a series of graphics and wrote a piece to show the growth of the rift and compared it with the breakup of the Larsen A and B, both located north of the rift.
GIFs allow us to easily show simple change over time. For this story, I created two GIFs: one showing the crack growing across the Antarctic on a map and another using NASA imagery to show the breakup of Larsen B.
To create the map showing the rift, I used GPS data from Project MIDAS, projected it in QGIS and then drew the map from those files in Illustrator. A NASA scientist helped me check the Antarctic coastline for accuracy (the satellite imagery I used in QGIS was outdated and didn't reflect recent melting.)
I also created a simple map to show the extent of all the ice loss in the region since scientists began measuring ice coverage.