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A huge shelf of Antarctic ice has collapsed, satellite imagery has just revealed, and the Connecticut-sized shelf behind it is "hanging by a thread," scientists say.Satellite images show the sudden disintegration of a 160-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica, according to a press release from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an AP report of the ice shelf breakup. It is part of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, which covered 5,000 square miles until it started breaking up in the 1990s. The only thing now connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf to the Antarctic mainland is a thin "buttress" of ice."If there is a little bit more retreat, this last 'ice buttress' could collapse and we'd likely lose about half the total ice shelf area in the next few years," CU-Boulder's Ted Scambos said in a statement.Melting ice shelves do not raise the worldwide sea level, because this ice is already floating on the ocean. However, the Antarctic ice shelves are the leading edges of land-based glaciers behind them. If the glaciers behind them start moving into the sea more quickly, that will have an impact on sea levels.